Lionsgate dates ‘Hunger Games’ sequel

'Catching Fire' gets Thanksgiving 2013 release

Lionsgate has dated the second installment of its “Hunger Games” saga, “Catching Fire,” for a Nov. 22, 2013, release.

Sequel aims to catch increased Thanksgiving moviegoing, then play through the holiday period.

The first pic in the series, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, bows March 23. Gary Ross helmed “Hunger Games” from a script he co-wrote with author Suzanne Collins, based on her popular teen-lit series.

“Catching Fire” has the Thanksgiving 2013 date to itself so far, though at least one other wide release — likely a family-targeted counterprogrammer — will stake a place on that weekend. Disney has dated an as-yet-untitled Pixar toon to bow the following week on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

“The magical thing about the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy is that the books have such a vastly broad appeal,” said Joe Drake, co-COO of Lionsgate and president of its Motion Picture Group. “The stories truly offer something for everyone, and the period around the Thanksgiving weekend is such an opportunity for families and friends to make an event of going to the movies.”

“The Hunger Games” is directed by Ross and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik.

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