Twilight vs. The Hunger Games: Which Series Will Come Out On Top?

Hunger Games vs. Twilight

With Lionsgate's big screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ teen-centric sci-fi survival-adventure The Hunger Games hitting screens this week, it’s kind of impossible not to draw comparisons to that other YA juggernaut series, which concludes its billion-dollar run on pop culture this fall. So how does The Hunger Games measure up to Twilight?

Some spoilers follow.

THE BOOKS
Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, first published in 2005, spawned a total of four books (and one spin-off novella) that were adapted into five movies (Breaking Dawn Part 2 hits screens this November), with over 116 million copies in print.

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, first published in 2008, spawned a total of three books set to be adapted into four movies, with over 26 million copies in print.

Advantage: Twilight

THE HEROINE
Twilight: Bella Swan is a 17-year-old girl who moves to gloomy Forks, Washington and falls in love with a vampire. Unassuming and average, she finds her inner strength after four novels’ worth of being imperiled by embracing her destiny and starting a family.

Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year-old girl who lives in gloomy District 12 in the fascist future world of Panem and must fight for her life in a televised battle royale. A skilled huntress, she finds her inner heroine after three novels’ worth of being a pawn in the Capitol’s games by embracing her destiny and becoming a symbol of the resistance.

Advantage: Hunger Games

SUPER POWERS (AND SUPER WEAKNESSES)
Twilight: Left at the mercies of other people’s protection, Bella’s the lame duck for most of the saga, until she discovers that her secret power is, literally, the ability to protect her loved ones. Seriously. Meanwhile, her love for Edward keeps threatening to ruin everything – prom, her sex life, the future of all vampirekind.

Hunger Games: Empowered at an early age thanks to her father’s untimely death, Katniss is the provider in her family for most of her life, until she enters the Games and discovers that compassion for others, and the newfound ability to trust in Peeta, is the key to survival. Her only weakness, it could be said, is that her personal drive to survive is so strong she has trouble seeing the big picture, and her place in it.

Advantage: Hunger Games

THE LOVE TRIANGLE
Twilight: Bella must choose between two suitors – Edward Cullen, the sparkly vampire, and Jacob Black, her werewolf BFF. Heated tent scenes, make-out sessions, and torrid glances ensue.

Hunger Games: Katniss must choose between two suitors – Peeta, the golden baker’s son (and her fellow Tribute in the Hunger Games), and Gale, her earthy BFF. Play-acted cave scenes, tender kisses, and internal struggles ensue – that is, when Katniss isn’t busy, you know, fighting for her life.

Advantage: Twilight

THE THEMES
Twilight: Love, lust, abstinence, teen pregnancy, motherhood, sexuality vs. sin.
Hunger Games: Fighting injustice, taking a stand, trusting others, personal responsibility.

Advantage: Hunger Games.

THE ONSCREEN PG-13 ACTION
Twilight: Speed-ramped vampire running, bad wirework, CG werewolf-vampire melees, non-gory limb-shattering/ripping/beheadings, and one vivid, suggestive C-section by vampire scene.

Hunger Games: Training exercises, arrow-shooting, hand-to-hand combat, bladed weapons, Tracker Jacker (i.e. hallucination-inducing poison bee) attacks, and one vivid, suggestive shaky-cam Cornucopia melee.

Advantage: Hunger Games

FILM PEDIGREE
Twilight: Installments directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Chris Weitz (New Moon), David Slade (Eclipse), and Oscar-winner Bill Condon (Breaking Dawn Parts 1 & 2). Top Rotten Tomatoes score: Eclipse, at 49%.

Hunger Games: The Hunger Games directed by Oscar-nominee Gary Ross, who is set to direct the next sequel, Catching Fire. Current Rotten Tomatoes score: 100% (with 17 reviews in).

Advantage: Hunger Games

--

Seems like The Hunger Games has the edge over Twilight by most of the above criteria, stemming from its more complex and stirring lead character, story, and themes. That said, Twilight fandom outpaces Hunger Games fandom by the millions, circulation-wise. Will solid critical reviews and stellar pre-release ticket sales help bump The Hunger Games to Twilight-level box office returns -- and convince non-fans to give it a shot?

Sound off below, Movieliners!



Comments

  • CocaineHeart says:

    comparisons are understandable, but versus is just silly and cliche. Two completely different genres of books/movies, about 2 completely different worlds

    • Jen Yamato says:

      Well, sure. It's not a competition. But the franchises are going for pretty much the same audience (HG will skew wider though, I believe) and share so many similarities. This convo will be interesting to have a week from now as well.

      • Wait, Jen. You mentioned "franchises". So think studios
        and publishing companies. To them, TWILIGHT and HUNGER
        GAMES ARE competitors, so "versus" is how it's seen.

        Show business at its finest and ugliest at the same time.
        Kris

  • Kay says:

    You couldn't pay me to read the books or see the movie. Why? Simply because the story doesn't interest me. At all. I started to read THG once and just couldn't get into it. I also don't think the cast is as dynamic; nothing beats the chemistry of Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart on-screen (their off-screen romance that grew along with their fame hasn't hurt either. They are adorable together). And neither of the lead actors comes close to the sex appeal, intelligence and unique personality of Mr. Pattinson. I'm sure it will do just fine and then Jennifer Lawrence can remind us all how she hates actors who are honest enough to admit they miss their privacy sometimes and that there are downsides to fame. Good luck to them.

  • J'accuse! says:

    Jen, you're terrific, but I think you ought to factor in two things in relation to the book sales argument. First, Twlight has a head start w/ the first book being published in '05. Second, the films have arguably resulted in boosting sales for the books, something that will likely happen should The Hunger Games take off as a film franchise. I'll admit, since you, those girls I met @ Golden Gardens, and oh, about a dozen other people recommended I read the books, I've realized I actually like The Hunger Games approach. It's way better than Twilight IMHO, and I hope it takes off, because the youths deserve better than Mormon vampire romance novels.

    All that being said, I'm quite aware of the fact that good taste isn't really in vogue these days, Adele being a rare exception.

  • Z. says:

    It's no contest; The Hunger Games comes out on top, no doubt about it. Jennifer Lawrence is not only leaps and bounds a better actress than KS but damn, she's so much more attractive and charismatic. I'm more excited to watch The Hunger Games than I have been for any film in quite a long time.

  • Joel says:

    IMHO, the real problems and differences between the series are in the endings.

    Bella becomes the most powerful person in the world, and earns about everything she ever wanted, and finds she can create a literal heaven on earth for herself and those she loves, despite the hardships she faced.

    Katniss earns about everything she ever wanted, which isn't much really, but ends up barely maintaining her sanity because, you know, life just sucks so bad, with all those hardships that simply cannot be overcome.

    Sorry for overstating, but there are key, essential differences in the worldviews of each book.

  • ivonne says:

    I'm a fan of both books and the r really great
    And it not true I no many guys who LOVE twilight
    And y r ppl comparin da books they r totally different
    There r no sparkling, loving, beautiful vampires and werewolfs in the hunger games. I definetly think the hunger games will be a popular movie/book right now just lyk twilight. As in for da actors they r ALL great.
    Twilight : TEAM EDWARD!!!
    The Hunger Games : TEAM PEETA!!!

  • Natalie Solis says says:

    What I think about both series is that people in then world are trying to be like them and they just throw it away like trash but its their life. People in different states want to be like Kristen Stewart or Talor Lautner and many other people so make up your mines people. So, my descision is going to be "The Twilight" series because Twlight has been going on for the past 3 years i think ?.. and I my descision is great becaue other people in the world think i am very wrong nut in my world i am Fabulous !!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for listening to my conversation ... !!! bye ..:D (:

  • haley says:

    i belive the hunger games is alot better than twilight. the hunger games appeals to alot more people than JUST luv crazed teenagers.

  • Rudayna says:

    Hmmmm Katnis would be mortified for us judging and voting against and for these books/movies.... lol I don't think anyone can judge which is better since they are two totally different stories. It would be like someone judging horror vs. comedy.... they are both WONDERFUL, the books are AMAZING!
    I do think that the Hunger Games learned something from Twilight, since their movie was very close to the book and Twilight's first movie was off from it a little, but the movies did get better as they went but I think that is because they finally had the money for all the action/special effects by then from the fans.
    Kudos to both of the authors, directors and actors/actress for bringing these awesome stories to life. Geeez I can't wait to have both of these complete sets on my shelf!

  • kaila says:

    In my opinion, there is NO comparison! The Hunger Games is so much better! Between the romance and the action the hunger games is definitly better! I love twilight and I am a crazed fan for that too! Let's just say I have edward and bella posters on one side of my room and peeta and katniss on the other

  • alejandra says:

    todo esta dicho los juegos del hambre es mejor ,ya fanaticos locos de amanecer ,entiendanlo ,ya fueron .
    1.como se les ocurre comparar a kristen con jennifer ,la respuesta es obvio jennifer es mucho mejor que kristen en bastantes aspectos.
    2.el triangulo amoroso,es obvio que lo iva a ganar crepusculo ,ya que esa serie SOLO se basa en el amor.en cambio los juegos del hambre tiene muchos aspectos ,no solo el amor ,la historia es mas relista.
    3 crepusculo ,es la tipica historia adolescente(conste yo soy adolescente)del amor y el final feliz de todas las historias fantasiosas.los juegos del hambre es realista,se ve como una persona que era muy joven ,tiene que cargar con muchas cosas,y no se derrumba o se trata de suicidar como bella ,sino que los atraviesa y madura y con los años trata de curar las heridas del pasado con la persona que ama.

    Al final cual da un mejor mensaje .

    Es obvia la respuesta los juegos del hambre es mejor que crepusculo.
    porfavor lean buenos libros ,no como crepusculo.

  • andrea says:

    Alejandra. Nada mas quiero decir te q a mucha jente le gusta crepusculo y you soy unas de ellas.
    Todo esto cada quien tiene su opinion entoces no pueses estar diciendo lean lubros buenos,no como crepusculo por q eso es tu opinion.

    I am a fan of both books. And i think the actors/acresses in both series are really good. So i go for both movies!!! :-)

  • holden hackney says:

    twilight over hunger games big time!!!!!!

  • Gina says:

    The Hunger Games rule

  • KatnissIsTheRealHeroin says:

    This is why the Hunger Games rocks!!!!

    #1 — It’s smarter: Set in a dystopian future, The Hunger Games questions the society in which we live in, with its send-up of reality television and judgement of how we are engaging with celebrity culture. Twilight encourages young girls to give up everything to be with their high school boyfriend.

    #2 — Katniss isn’t a wet dishrag like Bella: When her father died at age 11, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) took to the woods to feed her family. Eventually — spoiler alert — she becomes the symbol of an entire revolution. Bella (Kristen Stewart) whines her way through high school, doesn't want to go to college and flits back and forth between two boys.

    #3 — The love story comes second: Yes, technically Katniss is in a love triangle just like Bella. But unlike Bella, Katniss is not defined by the men she loves. And Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are not unhealthily obsessed with Katniss, as Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are with Bella. Which leades me to …

    #4 — Gale & Peeta > Jacob & Edward: Gale and Peeta love Katniss unconditionally. Jacob and Edward treat Bella like a prize they are desperate to control.

    #5 — The Hunger Games has a broader appeal: In my non-scientific research, I’ve discovered that the majority of Twilight fans are made up of two types of people. One, the nerdy girl who thinks the school hunk ignores her because he really is secretly in love with her and two, her mother, saddened by the lack of passion in her marriage, writes erotic fan fiction revolving around Edward and Bella. On the other hand, there is something for everyone in The Hunger Games — friendship, family loyalty, politics, bloody battles, sacrifice and even love. And because of its underlying message, it transcends age — adults love it, too.

    Face the facts!!! Which is better!? Katniss seems like the heroine to me.

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