Mockingjay - Part 1, the third installment of the four-part Hunger Games movie series, enjoyed the biggest opening weekend of any film in 2014. The film not only grossed $123 million from Friday, November 21 to Sunday, November 23, but it also executed a brilliant social media marketing strategy leading up to the premiere. Naturally, we were curious to see how Panemanians (the preferred name for Hunger Games fans) responded on Twitter, so we used Canvs to gauge emotional reactions over the premiere weekend.
Jennifer Lawrence: Actress or Pop Star?
As the biggest star playing the leading role in The Hunger Games mega-franchise, Jennifer Lawrence motivated many fans to rush to theaters on opening weekend. Unsurprisingly, Lawrence received the most reactions of any actor and her character, Katniss, received the most reactions of any character.
More surprisingly, people were entranced by Lawrence’s vocal performance of “The Hanging Tree” - even more than by her acting. A whopping 32% of reactions about Lawrence mentioned this performance. 72% of reactions about her performance expressed “love," while 11% were “excited."
Most Loved Actors
In a film with such a star-studded cast, we wanted to explore which actors were the most loved by audiences across the US. Though Jena Malone (Johanna) had a relatively minor role in Mockingjay - Part 1, she turned 30 years old on Nov. 21 (Friday of premiere weekend). Malone was far and away the most “loved" actor during the premiere weekend, mostly due to fans wishing her a happy birthday. We calculated "love" based on percentage of conversation about each actor that expressed "love" or similar emotions.
Otherwise, fans were most impressed by acting performances by Sam Claflin (Finnick) and Josh Hutcherson (Peeta).
The Other Side of the Coin
Despite the box office success during opening weekend, reviews from fans were not all rosy. "Hate" reactions accounted for 9% of total reactions, while 4% were “disappointed.” Additionally, 11% of “hate” conversation and 4% of “disappointed” conversation specifically mentioned the books. Most of these criticisms primarily focused on either the adaptation from the books or the fact that the third book was split up into two movies.
Until Next Year
Luckily for us, there is one more Mockingjay film to look forward to in 2015. We will be keeping a close eye on how The Hunger Games uses social media to reel in audiences before the premiere.