‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: The Dos and Don’ts of Midnight Screenings

‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: The Dos and Don’ts of Midnight Screenings

Mar 07, 2012

Hunger Games on March 23Whoa. We’re really getting close! With only two Hunger Games Countdowns to go before the big release (and hopefully many more to come thereafter), we’re putting the spotlight on those coveted midnight screenings. But before we get to the meat of this weekend Countdown, how about a brief run-through of all the recent Hunger Games news?

With the big opening fast approaching, the cast and director Gary Ross are out and about promoting. We’ve got Isabelle Fuhrman (Clove) on the cover of Girls’ Life Magazine, Wes Bentley (Seneca Crane) and Leven Rambin (Glimmer) in a photo shoot together for Genlux Magazine, Liam Hemsworth on the cover of GQ Australia and more. Sure these magazines are great and it’s something tangible you can keep, but talk show appearances are far more exciting. Why? Because talk show appearances generally require clips. We just got that one of Katniss firing an arrow at the Gamemaker’s pig and, now, thanks to Lenny Kravitz’s appearance on Ellen, we’ve got clip #2, Cinna’s pre-opening ceremony advice for Katniss. And, of course, the Hunger Games mall tour is also currently underway. The gang already hit LA and Atlanta, are due to visit Phoenix and Chicago today, and will make it to Miami, Dallas, Minneapolis and Seattle by Saturday.

Leven Rambin and Wes BentleyMeanwhile, folks are also preparing for The Hunger Games round two, Catching Fire. As reported by Hollywood Outbreak, writer Simon Beaufoy has confirmed the sequel’s script is complete – well, a first draft at least. Beaufoy explained, “I had many concerns with taking on Catching Fire because my usual approach is to be very free. But what I hadn’t realized was that Suzanne Collins used to be a TV writer and film writer. She sort of adapted it already. The novels are very filmic structurally already. Luckily I haven’t had that battle in my head where I thought I had to discard everything, which is good because the fan base is incredibly loyal to everything.” According to E!, Collins has her hands on Beaufoy’s script right now, the writer telling them, “She's reading this draft at the moment and she'll tell me, 'You can't do that. You must do this.' Because there are some things that are sacrosanct to her readers and she knows them very well and she'll let me know.”

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’ve still got the first film to enjoy and March 23rd will be here before we know it. Actually, the big day really begins for many on the 22nd. Half the fun of being a diehard fan and seeing beloved source material come to life is the midnight screening, and the event is nothing to take lightly. It’s a night packed with long lines, face-to-face fan mingling, some nerves and then hopefully a theatrical showing you’ll never forget. With just 14 days to go until you’ve got to head to the theater to claim the perfect seat, it’s time to start readying yourself for the midnight screening now and the Hunger Games fandom is here to fill you in on everything you need to know and bring to make the event as enjoyable and memorable as possible.

Hunger Games Mall TourSara of Hunger Games Examiner

Do: Bring seat cushions! Sitting on a movie theater floor waiting to get into the theater can be tough on your tushie. For the last Harry Potter movie, my mom and I crafted seat cushions using a square of foam from the fabric store and even covered them in Harry Potter fabric. You can easily make something similar for The Hunger Games - maybe use fabric with a flaming print, or go for plain black and decorate it with movie quotes.

Don’t: Bring folding chairs or camping gear. Most theaters don’t allow them and you’re the jerk in line taking up too much room and we all have to wait for you to haul your crap back to the car when we finally get into the theater. Pack light!

Midnight Screening Must Have: Caffeine! Past the age of 21, staying up past midnight becomes much more challenging. Soda, coffee, energy drinks - consume whatever you need, because sometimes no amount of excitement can keep you awake without some extra help. Just be sure to take a carefully timed bathroom break about ten minutes before showtime.

Savanna of Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Harry Potter Midnight Screening Line

Do: Chat with the people around you in line and in the theatre before the movie starts. Get to know some fellow Hunger Games fans! A midnight screening is the perfect opportunity to connect with other Tributes in your area and hopefully meet some new friends who are just as obsessed with the trilogy as you are.

Don’t: Get angry at and snub moviegoers who haven't read the book. Just be thankful that they've discovered The Hunger Games in some form and encourage them to read the books as soon as possible!

Midnight Screening Must Have: A shoulder to cry on. Even if it belongs to someone you just met. You're going to need it.

Lisa of HungerGamesMovie.org

Do: Bring your laptop, smartphone, and reread The Hunger Games while you wait.  If you are a die hard fan, you’ll be there super early. While it is a great time and amazing experience, the day can be long and tiring. Reread The Hunger Games while you wait and discuss with your friends what scenes you hope will be in the movie!

Don’t: Spend the whole time on your laptop and/or smart phone. While it’s a super good idea to have them, you need to mingle with the crowd! I’ve met so many people while waiting in line for a movie, people that I still talk to years later and have developed a great friendship with!

Midnight Screening Must Have: Your camera! Snap pictures of everyone in line. You never know - there may be some people dressed up!

SnacksEmy of HungerGamesMovie.org

Do: Many theaters are in malls or by take-out restaurants, so if you didn’t bring snacks, get a place in line first and then send one or two people from your group to get food. You never know how many people will get in line during the 15 minutes you’re gone.

Don’t: Save a place in line for too many friends. Having a friend show up late is understandable, but having 10 arrive for the first time 20 minutes before the movie is not. Fans who have been waiting for hours are not going to be happy being pushed back 10 spots when it could mean the difference between a great seat and an okay one.

Midnight Screening Must Have: A deck of cards. They’re a great form of entertainment and can pack up neatly without taking up too much space in your bag.

Theresa of Down With The Capitol

Do: Get to the theater early. Lines start forming anywhere from 5 - 18 hours before the film is due to begin. Not everyone can spend that much time at the theater, but at least plan to be there a good 2-3 hours in advance. You might consider contacting your theater to see if they know when you will be allowed into your screening. Many times, if a midnight showing is popular, theaters will cancel 9pm showings to allow patrons a chance to be seated early. This helps them to keep overcrowding due to lines down to a minimum and is a benefit to you as you’ll be able to find your seat and relax until showtime.

Don’t: Scream or squeal loudly while the movie’s rolling. Yes, we are all excited for the film, but screaming whenever Peeta or Gale appears on screen is not going to earn you any points in the arena that is the theater.

Midnight Screening Must Have: A blanket, preferably a Hunger Games one. This is necessary for two reasons - to keep warm and to cuddle up with when you are either on the verge of tears, or already have them streaming down your face.

Harry Potter Fans Dressed UpTanvi of Hunger-Games.net

Do: Dress up! As the character, I mean. It's always fun, and you're so sure to make new friends. If dressing up seems a bit too much for you, you could also simply wear your mockingjay pin. Over the years, as a Harry Potter fan, I've met such great people dressed up as the characters - it was impossible not to go talk to them and I'm still talking to a lot of them after all this time!

Don't: Repeat dialogue, scream or generally create a ruffle. Everyone's there to enjoy the movie, and trust me, it is really annoying to have someone's voice carrying throughout the theatre.

Midnight Screening Must Have: Have a camera or a smartphone to snap pictures. You're sure to bump into someone dressed up as the characters. It'd be great for the memories; this is our first movie, fandom!

Crystal of Mockingjay.net/FictionalFood.net

Do: Get there early. I’d recommend getting there by 9 PM, at the latest. I showed up to Harry Potter 7-2 at 10 PM and there were like 10,000 people already there. The Hunger Games isn’t going to be that crazy, but what’s waiting around a little while extra to ensure you’re not getting a kink in your neck down front or sitting separate from all your friends?

Don’t: Be one of those obnoxious people that shoots a laser at the screen.

Midnight Screening Must Have: Kleenex or make sure you wear something you don’t mind resorting to using as a handkerchief when your tears start rolling. A lot of us have been crying watching just the trailer, so imagine how the whole film is going to affect us.

CinnaLindsay of HGgirlonfire.com

Do: Make like Cinna and play it cool. Come dressed up, be prepared to chat all things Hunger Games with both friends and strangers, and go all out as a fan. But, when the movie comes on, play it cool and don't scream so loud that fans around you can't hear what is happening in the film. Cinna knows his job is preparing someone for her death, but he does it with dignity, class and poise.

Don’t: Pull a Haymitch and show up a drunken mess. No one wants to sit in line for hours with someone who stinks, is falling over, or acting obnoxious. Trust us, you'll be riding high on Hunger Games-inspired adrenaline. Other substances don't need to be included!

Midnight Screening Must Have: Your copy of The Hunger Games book. If any plot point arguments come up in line, you'll be the knowledgeable person to answer questions by whipping out the book! Also, when the film ends, you can grab it to compare scenes.

Melanie of HungerGamesMovie.org

Do: Bring some form of entertainment, preferably Hunger Games related, like the Neca board game to not only keep you entertained, but to also keep you in the Hunger Games mood.

Don’t: Bring the Twilight board game or merchandise, or even dress up like you favorite Twilight character. You’ll most likely receive dirty looks from others in line, plus we don’t want any more comparisons between the two movies.

Midnight Screening Must-Have: Comfy clothes! After standing in line for hours, and gorging on junk food, you’re going to want to be as comfortable as possible while watching this movie.

The Hunger Games BookAmanda of The Hob

Do: Read the book before the movie. While movie adaptations can be wonderfully accurate (as we hear The Hunger Games is), there are always details from the source material that have to be left out for various reasons. Reading the book first can help you understand some of the nuances the film may omit.

Don’t: Read the book while you’re waiting in line for the movie. Many of us spend (a lot of) time on Twitter, Facebook, email, forums, etc. chatting about the books, the characters, the actors, the trailers and everything in between. But now you can talk about it with a real, live person!

Midnight Screening Must-Have: A ticket to our midnight screening charity event! If you’re going to see the movie, why not help out those in need and get some fun Hunger Games goodies while you’re at it?

Kate of Hungergamestrilogy.net

Do: Keep your ticket stub in a safe place. It’s a perfect souvenir that will mark the beginning of your journey watching these films!

Don’t: Forget your coat! No matter where you are, even if you are seeing the movie in the most tropical of locations, if you are seeing it at midnight and the sun has gone down, standing outside in a long line means you will be standing there as the temperature decreases.

Midnight Screening Must-Have: Nails painted with Colours from the Capitol nail polish! Your nail color and why you selected it can be a great conversation starter with fellow Hunger Games fans at your movie theater who will be sharing the experience with you, and may get you a few allies before the trailers even start!

Hunger Games BlanketElena of TheHungerGamesMovies.net

Do: Bring travel games, a blanket to sit on, tons of food and dress in layers. Not only will this keep you comfortable and entertained, but it’s a good way to make new friends with other fans in line. Invite them to play Jenga! (Yes, I brought Jenga to a midnight screening once.)

Don’t: Consume too many beverages or you’ll be frequenting the bathroom line more than the theater line and may even miss the previews or opening scene of the movie.

Midnight Screening Must-Have: Your “TEAM PEETA” shirt and Mockingjay pin! This is your time to shine. Show your district pride. Support your favorite tribute. Shun the Capitol!

Lauren of TheHungerGamesMovies.net

Do: Strive to be the first in line. Call your local theater to make sure your aren’t breaking any rules by camping out early and get there ASAP. Make sure your car is accessible and camp out with all the essentials: books, laptop, iPads, e-readers, Hunger Games merchandise, the works. If you have assigned seating in your theater, then kudos to you – but still camp out!

Don’t: Go by yourself! Bring your friends, family, etc. Make sure they arrive with you and not an hour before the movie starts so that they can cut the line. No way, jose!

Midnight Screening Must-Have: What better way to ring in The Hunger Games than by dressing up as your favorite character? Get flamboyant and gorgeous like Effie, dress like a baker’s son like Peeta - the possibilities are endless.

Peeta FigureKait of Victor’s Village

Do: Bring snacks! It might sound like a silly detail, but you’ll be getting hungry in line by 11:30 and that $6 popcorn will do nothing for your stomach or your wallet!

Don’t: Be “that person.” You know, the one who offers his or her own snarky commentary throughout the whole movie. That person always thinks they’re funny, but the rest of us will hope the wolf mutts come out of the screen and rip their face off.

Midnight Screening Must-Have: Your Hunger Games action figure of choice! I used to do this with gnome figurines; take pictures of them on big adventures with you and forge your own hilarious memories.

Adam of Hunger Games Fireside Chat

Do: Go with people who live on an Effie Trinket time schedule, so that when you're inevitably late like I always am, they've saved a spot in line for you. Also, absolutely eat and go to the bathroom before you get to the theater (especially ladies. Sorry, but men's bathrooms are usually a lot quicker.)

Don't: Sit there comparing the movie to the book scene by scene. That never ends well. I made that mistake when I went to see Deathly Hallows I and couldn't help myself from focusing on all the differences. That's why I think it's good not to read the book too close beforehand. You want the movie-watching experience to be pure and fun.

Midnight Screening Must-Have: A sweatshirt or jacket that you can take off or put on easily. They jack up the AC in a lot of these theaters, so you might get cold. If they don't turn the AC up, all those bodies can make it pretty steamy.

The Hunger Games Countdown runs here on Movies.com every other Wednesday. There are 15 days until the release.




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