As the big premiere of the much-anticipated The Hunger Games movie nears – March 23 in wide release – all kinds of news keeps bubbling up. I’ll try to pick out some of the tidbits that most relate to the Asheville area this behemoth nears.
First, Russ Bowen of WLOS tweets the following:
Members of #Hungergames crew say they’ll return to Western NC in late July and August to prep for Sept shoot of #CatchingFire !
That’s awesome economic news for Western North Carolina. “Catching Fire” is a reference to the second of what is planned to be four movies produced by LionsGate, movies based on the popular Hunger Games young-adult novel trilogy. Economic development officials in Asheville have yet to even confirm that The Hunger Games was filmed around Asheville, even though tourism officials are already promoting tours of mountain filming locations. Nor have local economic development officials told the story yet of the real economic impact of the filmmaking. The movie had a budget of something to the tune of $65 million.
But we know that film crew members stayed in local hotels (Hotel Indigo), ate at local restaurants (the LAB) and shopped at local stores (Malaprop’s). We know that some of the film’s stars stayed in the area and visited local attractions, such as the Navitat zip line tour. And we know that tourism officials are banking on the movie’s fans to come and visit the area in which the film was made.
What does that all add up to in terms of economic impact? I don’t know, but I’ll be working on trying to put some numbers to it all.
Former WLOSer Michelle Boudin, who now works for a Charlotte, tweets the following regarding a sequel being shot in WNC:
Film commission folks will only confirm #hungergames peeps in talks to return to charlotte region to shoot sequel.
She also reports that Charlotte will get a 3/21 screening of the movie. Bowen says there is no word on an early screening for Asheville.
Very interesting that they have not confirmed that it was shot near Asheville. That seems odd. The actors and crew were clearly here. I have a friend that was a stand-in and traveled with them. I got to meet Josh Hutcherson and other actors/crew members at Asheville Brewing Co. We even visited Josh’s suite at the Hotel Indigo when he and some of the cast and crew were all hanging out. Woody Harrelson even references filming near Asheville in an MTV interview that I saw on Hulu. I hope they do come back and film the second movie here. That would be big!
This place has been in free fall mode ever since he went to work for the Citizen Times. Gone are the stinging critiques of WLOS’s “news” coverage and in their place are endless rumors about 8th hand alleged sitings of marginal celebrities.
With all the SXSW stuff on here, my guess is that he is in Austin.
Wow, one post in over two weeks. What happened to this place?
Any news on if they’re looking for local help?
Does anyone proofread this stuff?