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“The Hunger Games” picks release date for sequel

By Sean O’Connell And the games will continue.

Lionsgate, happy with the material they’ve seen so far from Gary Ross’s first “Hunger Games” film, has set the date for its sequel. “Catching Fire,” based on the second book in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian dramatic series, will be released on Nov. 22, 2013. No word yet on whether Ross will return to direct, or if the studio will take the approach of the “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” series by hiring fresh eyes for every installment.

The first “Hunger Games” film opens March 23, 2012.

This process of announcing release dates to sequels long before their first installments come out is getting a little silly. Sony recently grabbed a weekend in the future for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” even though Marc Webb’s film doesn’t come out until July 2012. And Marvel is already blocking off key dates for Thor and Captain America sequels.

The “Hunger Games” film should do well. The book has a very loyal following. And now they can circle the date on the calendar of when they’ll see the second film. Better do it in pencil.

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