“Hey, Peeta! How About We Go to the Park to Play with Pods?”

No joke! Lionsgate is entertaining proposals for a Hunger Games theme park.

Think of all the fun the whole family can enjoy! There will be a ‘Kill or Be Killed’ roller coaster ride from whose cars park patrons can throw one another (the ride won’t stop so long as there are two people remaining). Vendors are lining up already to offer neon colored varieties of Haymitch’s Hooch. And Games Makers around the globe are designing murderous Pods that guests will be able to walk through, though everyone around them on the green screen walls and ceiling will suffer terrible, torturous deaths.

What. A. Blast.

From the beginning of the Hunger Games film franchise, we’ve noted here again and again and again and again that a series of novels depicting and decrying the excesses of violence and voyeuristic pleasure we have in our screened media, if turned into block buster movies, was inevitably going to be self-satirizing.

The hyper marketing of the films via internet publicity, however, the casting of the glamorous and sex symbol Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, and the commercialization of items meant to be despised by book readers, not to mention the hijacking of the anti-Games Maker message of the book in the first film, have overshot our cynical expectations by a District 12 mile.

Please share your idea for Humger Games Land, the theme park, below. I’m afraid your most sarcastic visions will fall short of the real thing should it ever come to pass.

Hat tip to James for this news item!


  1. Well, camping out and eating shellfish on a tropical beach sounds pretty nice…

  2. Wondering about the Hogwarts park (never been/read). How does the park affect your experience of the books? films?

    Good, bad, weird?

  3. It’s been speculated that the Capitol represents the West and now it’s proving to be true.

  4. Difference between Potter park and Hunger Games park…. Hogwarts is somewhere you’d actually WANT to go… There’s a meme that seems very appropriate here… it reads:

    Read Harry Potter… want to go to Hogwarts!
    Read Lord of the Rings… want to go to Middle Earth!
    Read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe… want to go to Narnia!
    Read Hunger Games… nope, I’m good.

  5. James, as I wrote here, the

    theme park ‘experience’ is perhaps the ultimate diminution, even the erasure of the imaginative and edifying experience to be had inside the novels. The movies’ hijacking is bad enough but I look forward to reading the explanations of how this kind of profit-taking serves serious readers well. Unless, of course, it serves as base camp for those serious readers to gather for discussion of the novels.

    We are all materialists because of the historical period and its errors within which world we live, mentally and psychically. Imaginative fiction helps us think iconologically rather than as deluded empiricists; in this it is something of a respite, even a cure, from the thinking mistakes that distinguish the p[ostmodern era. Theme park immersion, tragically, takes imaginative reality in which things are experienced as transparencies to greater realities, and turns into pre-packaged, concrete, visible reality, important only in their quantitative individuality, again confirming us in the delusion that this is what is most real.

    Theme parks derived from imaginative fiction are simultaneously a symptom/reflection of the madness of our times and one more support to said madness. That we flock to the Wizarding World again and again only speaks to our captivity in the well carpeted Cave and enjoyment, in our plush theatre seating with kevlar velco manacles, of the projections on the walls. The movies are bad enough; the theme parks are the concretizing of the sense faculty rendition in film of imaginary fiction.

    Carol, you made my day. I’m good with only going to Panem in my heart as well, though, of course, it is the world — presented satirically and allegorically — in which we already live.

  6. This is just Lionsgate suffering from Warner Brothers and Disney envy.

    Lionsgate’s revenue and profits from film and TV are inherently lumpy and quite unpredictable (this is true for the whole industry). They are doing a good job as a company building a library of DVDs, on-demand films, smaller ‘art house’ independent films that give a smoother, more predictable flow of sales and profits, but theme parks are a really nice addition to the mix (as Disney, especially, knows). LGF’s management is smart enough, though, to know that it takes a lot of experience to run a good, profitable theme park.

    I read through the Lionsgate analysts’ quarterly earnings call transcript and this was a very throw-away remark that execs kind of play with when talking to Wall Street; they did not sound at all serious about it and I doubt that they are going to do anything more than talk to a couple of outside potential partners who apparently approached them.

    That said, I agree with James that camping out on the beach in Hawaii sounds like fun any way you ‘brand’ it 🙂 I also think behind the scenes peeks at the film-making process is fun — studio back lot tours, etc. That might work, especially if they threw in a couple of other franchises like Ender’s Game that used very innovative special effects. But on the whole I doubt this Jabberjay will fly.

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