It seems even the money is catching fire when it comes to The Hunger Games sequel. While the original The Hunger Games has grossed over $400 million domestically and $691 worldwide since March 2012 on a budget of $78 million, to do that again, Lionsgate jacked up the budget for the Nov. 22 debut of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to over $130 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While upping the budget for a followup movie certainly isn’t something new, jumping it by 67 percent doesn’t fit the norm. But signing on your Oscar-winning lead star—Jennifer Lawrence in this case—doesn’t always come cheap, either. Neither does creating more fire (it is in the name, after all) in the special effects department.
While Lawrence reportedly got a pay bump from $500,000 to roughly $10 million and other stars also got a we-are-doing-very-well pay raise, The Hollywood Reporter says that an additional $10 million was spent to up the ante on the special effects as Katniss Everdeen hits the sequel’s new-fangled arena.
And then there’s some simple logistics. The original movie was shot in North Carolina, but as the story expanded, so did the shooting locations, sending the sequel to Georgia and Hawaii and adding an additional five days on the schedule.
But to make up for all that extra spending, Lionsgate will need another mega opening weekend and a solid domestic run. Here’s the latest trailer, released Oct. 27, designed to entice you to watch.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoKj7TdJk98%5D