“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” premieres in theaters on Friday, Nov. 20. This is the final installment of the Hunger Games series, based on the science fiction novels by Suzanne Collins.
However, “The Hunger Games” franchise will not fade out after the release of the final movie, as Lionsgate Entertainment Corporation has announced their plans to launch two new theme parks featuring roller coasters and rides based on these popular films in an effort to expand the franchise into new territory.
According to The New York Times, Jon Feltheimer, the chief executive of Lionsgate Entertainment, asked his lieutenants to “investigate ways to turn their hit movie into a Disneyland-style ride.”
Tim Palen, the chief brand officer of Lionsgate Entertainment, said, “The more we thought about it, the more we realized there was a major opportunity — not just to create something smart and captivating that ‘Hunger Games’ fans would love, but to bring all of our franchises alive in new ways.”
The two theme parks, each of which will be built by separate companies, and are to be located in Atlanta, Georgia and Macau, China.
The Atlanta location, named Avatron Smart Park, is expected to open in 2019. Avatron Smart Park’s goal is to be highly interactive and individualized, hoping to smoothly combine the entertainment industry with technology to create a truly unique experience.
Both theme parks, although largely focusing on “The Hunger Games” as the main attraction, will feature other Lionsgate studio productions, including “Step Up” dance shows, and illusionist shows based on “Now You See Me.”
Other rides and attractions will be based off of the popular “Divergent” series. There are even discussions about including “Twilight” themed attractions throughout the park.
Another park, Motiongate, set to open in 2016 in the Middle East, will also be featuring “The Hunger Games” in the Lionsgate area of the park, which is neighbored by DreamWorks Animation and Sony Pictures areas.
When entering the front gates of Motiongate, visitors will step into a recreation of District 12, complete with costumed characters and real-life versions of Peeta Mellark’s bakery and the Hob black market.
A roller coaster, resembling the film’s high-speed Capitol trains, and a simulator attraction will take park guests on a hovercraft tour of Panem.
There are currently doubts that the Atlanta and Macau parks will be able to bring in revenue. However, Palen made the point that many people were skeptical about “The Hunger Games” being adapted into film, and believes that just like the movies were successful, there is a great opportunity for the parks to be as well.
Judith Rubin, spokeswoman for the Themed Entertainment Association, wrote in an email, citing shifting economic winds and government regulations as two hurdles, that, “It’s always going to happen that more parks get announced than actually built.”
According to The New York Times, “To limit risk, Lionsgate is licensing its movie properties to developers, who will, in turn, pay to build and operate the attractions. Lionsgate, in other words, is trying to emulate not Disney or Universal, but Warner Bros., which has long licensed its characters, which include Batman and Bugs Bunny, to theme parks such as Six Flags.
Avatron Smart Parks hopes to open by 2019 and Motiongate, which will be built by Dubai Parks and Resorts, is scheduled to open next year.
Editor’s Note: Information from The New York Times, CNTraveler.com and Attractions Magazine were used in this report.