Lionsgate is taking a literal page from high-end glossy magazines like “Capitol File,” “Ocean Drive,” “Gotham,” “Los Angeles Confidential,” and the newest “Du Jour,” as it starts promoting “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
With the characters from the first film returing to the rich capitol city of Panem in the sequel, studio has launched “Capitol Portraits,” as a series of images that reveal the look of each character in the follow up. Images cleverly reflect the different visual sensibility helmer Francis Lawrence, who takes over from Gary Ross, is bringing to the project.
Lionsgate also used the Internet to showcase the characters in the first film, using its Twitter feed and Facebook page to introduce each tribute battling it out in the Hunger Games.
New site CapitolCouture.pn takes the effort one step further. Previously used for first film through Tumblr too, site is described as “a Capitol sanctioned source for fashion & culture,” and takes visitors to the film’s Instagram page, and links to the Huffington Post and other websites that Lionsgate has divvied out exclusive images. The Instagram account had attracted around 12,000 followers, as of Wed. afternoon, since the first photos started posting March 4.
With the Capitol and its residents described in Suzanne Collins’ triology as wealthy over-the-top characters, the portraits and faux online publication are an innovative way of bringing to life the literary and now on-screen worlds.
But when it comes to promoting the franchise, the Capitol Couture site also becomes a blog through which Lionsgate and its team of marketing mavens can control their campaign’s message, carefully doling out what they want to “The Hunger Games’” massive fanbase, always ravenous for more details of a film they won’t get to see until November 22.
This longterm strategy is also one embraced by videogame companies looking to build buzz for a major title’s release. In Lionsgate’s case, it hopes the pent up demand to see more of what’s being revealed will translate to a big box office win and top the $687 million hauled in by “The Hunger Games’” worldwide last year.
Characters featured in the portraits so far include Effie Trinket (played by Elizabeth Banks), Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) and Johanna Mason (Jena Malone).
Lionsgate declined to comment for this story.