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POLL: What Age Is Too Young to See 'The Hunger Games'?

Blockbuster film opening this week raises sensitive question for some parents.

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 (), Farmington (Dipson West River Centre), Dearborn (AMC Star Fairlane), Canton (Goodrich 7) and Emagine theaters in Canton, Novi, Rochester and . 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.

drs March 21, 2012 at 09:44 PM
It's rated PG13, why in the world would anyone let someone younger than 13 see it? It is kids killing kids-think about that adults!
CLS March 22, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I think it is important for any child seeing this movie to read the book first. I haven't seen it yet, but I think there are elements better explained in print. I have read all the books. While I am taking my 6th grader to see the movie because she has read all the books too, I think the decision greatly depends on the child. I will not allow my 4th grader to read the books as she is not mature enough to process the content.
Alan Stamm March 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Time magazine critic: "There’s absolutely no compelling reason your elementary school aged child – or mine – should see 'The Hunger Games.' None. Not one. It’s not necessary or appropriate to take your 8-year-old to see a movie where teenagers kill each other as part of a punishing sporting event sponsored by a cruel, morally corrupt futuristic society. . . . "Your kid shouldn’t be there if they aren’t old enough to be chosen by lottery for the annual Hunger Games." -- Mary Pols, March 22, http://ti.me/GF5OUA
Alan Stamm March 23, 2012 at 01:37 PM
A dad differs and is taking his 8-year-old son: "The best option is for parents to consume violent-themed entertainment alongside their children rather than to either shield kids from it or leave them on their own. Parental input seems to help children understand the context of aggression and violence and better prepare them for how to address it. . . . 'The Hunger Games' is not going to harm their child." -- Chris Ferguson, Time blogger, March 20, http://ti.me/GzqC47

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