The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has mixed reviews

The new Hunger Games movie A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes drew in viewers from all around the world. On November 17, 2023, the movie’s first day in the theater, it made $19.1 million, according to CNBC. Three days later, the box office had earned over $100 million.

The new Hunger Games movie follows a young Coriolanus Snow, the central antagonist in the original series. We see him become a mentor to Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District Twelve, in the 10th annual Hunger Games. We watch as he slowly turns into the antagonist we know from the original series.

While it did well at the box office, the viewers had mixed opinions on the movie. ABC News referred to the movie as a “mistake,” not believing that the prequel lived up to the previous films. Time Magazine was also not a fan of it, calling it a “real dystopian bummer.” Most of the negativity came from the high expectations of the movie based on the past trilogy. Chief analyst Shawn Robbins at Box Office told CNBC that the prequel “doesn’t have the star power its predecessors did with Jennifer Lawrence.” But, the movie received praise from the media, as Vox even called it “the best Hunger Games movie yet.” USA Today shared similar sentiments stating that “Ballad of Songbirds Snakes is the best Hunger Games movie out of them all. 

Most Dana Hall students viewed the movie positively. “I enjoyed it,” Rena Leahy ‘26 said. “I liked the further exploration of the society and seeing how the world became what it was.” Maddy Mahoney ‘26 agreed, sharing that she “loved the movie” and “recommends everyone to give it a watch.” The movie was released digitally on December 19th and is available on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu

The differing responses toward the film could result from viewers’ ages. “This movie didn’t come out long after most of the kids our age watched the first movies,” Maddy said, so “we didn’t have as high expectations as some of the older viewers who were let down.” The original fans of The Hunger Games watched all the original movies when they came out in the 2010s and had high expectations for the prequel. “I understand how they feel,” Maddy said. “I would feel the same way about it if I’d been waiting for years for a new movie.” 

Image source: IMDb

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