Ladies and gentlemen, let The Hunger Games begin on screens near you.
Tickets are on sale for Friday's 12:01 a.m. debut of the thriller based on the lead book in Suzanne Collins' young adult trilogy. It opens nationally that day in 4,000 theaters and is sure to be a box office smash.
Local showings in IMAX or regular format are scheduled in Birmingham (Palladium 12), Farmington (Dipson West River Centre), Dearborn (AMC Star Fairlane), Canton (Goodrich 7) and Emagine theaters in Canton, Novi, Rochester and Royal Oak. A searchable Metro Detroit list is here.
Though the 2008 best-seller's gory violence has been notched back enough to snare a PG-13 rating, the film spurs discussion about age-appropriateness – just as Collins' provocative books do when they're in school libraries or classrooms. The first volume depicts a totalitarian nation, Panem, where a girl and boy from each of 12 state-like districts are chosen by government lottery to fight for food and survival in a televised annual spectacle.
"While emotional maturity is relative, I would rate The Hunger Games at 12 and up," posts a blogger at mamapop.com, anticipating a decision parents face this week.
Across the Atlantic, Britain's film review board required removal of seven seconds featuring bloody wounds and weapons, as well as darkening or blurring of five other scenes, to qualify for a rating that lets children younger than 12 into theaters with a parent.
This sets the stage for family choices, moms' group debates and "let's talk" experiences across generations. Share your view below and in our comments forum.
And may the odds be ever in your favor.