- Reactions to the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, have been released on social media.
- Critics and pop culture pundits are now able to share spoiler-free reactions to the movie before its release date.
- The movie will delve into the backstory of President Coriolanus Snow and his role as a mentor to District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird.
The first reactions to The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes have been released on social media. The upcoming movie is a blockbuster prequel to the Hunger Games franchise, which starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a District 12 teenager living in a dystopian world who rose to become a symbol of rebellion. The new movie, set six decades earlier, will follow the future President Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) as he mentors District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a contestant in an earlier version of the inter-district fight to the death known as the Hunger Games.
The embargo has lifted, allowing critics and pop culture pundits to share their spoiler-free reactions to the new movie nearly two weeks ahead of the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes release date. While some have made critiques of various aspects including the pacing and run time, the cast is being widely praised with some viewers even suggesting the movie is in the running to be considered one of the best Hunger Games movies of them all. Check out select reactions below:
Tessa Smith said “the entire cast is phenomenal” and “Tom Blyth gives the performance of a lifetime.”
Smells Like Teen Angst called the movie “quite possibly the best adaptation we’ve had so far,” also praising the acting, music, and costumes.
Barry Hertz, on the other hand, suggested that the movie should have been split into two, criticizing the “rushed, unsteady final act” that follows the “thrillingly vicious first (two-thirds.)“
Stephanie Ramirez said that it “was refreshing to see the film and characters displayed almost perfectly on the big screen.”
Jeff Conway called the movie “a gripping tale that blurs the line between good and evil” while praising the performances from Blyth, Zegler, and Jason Schwartzman (as Hunger Games host Lucky Flickerman).
While Rama’s Screen criticized the ambiguous ending and extended run time, the user also called the movie “more gripping than the original.”
Daniel Howat went so far as to call it “the best Hunger Games movie yet,” praising its “high stakes, solid action, and killer performances.”
Pop Crave called the movie “an overall triumph,” saying that Viola Davis “steals the show” as head gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul.
Lauren Garafano said that, as a longtime Hunger Games fan, “I literally cannot wait to see it again when it comes out.”
How Will The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Compare to the Other Hunger Games Movies?
With this early hype coming in strong, it seems possible that the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie could rank high in the franchise both critically and commercially. However, at the time of writing, the movie is currently projected to have a middling $50 million opening weekend at the box office. That would be less than half of what the lowest-grossing Hunger Games movie made (Mockingjay – Part 2 opened to $102 million), but strong word of mouth could potentially turn things around.
So far, the box office performance of the Hunger Games sequels has consistently matched the movies’ rank among both critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. This means that the movies peaked both critically and commercially with the second entry, Catching Fire, before a downhill slide with the final two entries, which split the third book, Mockingjay, into two parts. Check out a comparative ranking of the previous movies’ critic scores, audience scores, and worldwide box office below:
RT Critic Score
RT Audience Score
Worldwide Box Office
The Hunger Games
Mockingjay – Part 1
Mockingjay – Part 2
It remains to be seen how The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes performs critically once full reviews of the movie begin to be published closer to its premiere. However, if the correlation between the sequels’ scores and box office holds true, the prequel will depend on reviews to perform well at financially. Its performance could also potentially be diminished if the actors strike is still ongoing as of opening weekend, meaning the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes cast would avoid promotion as they continue the fight for fair pay, but reviews will also be key.
Source: Various (see above)
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes