While the box office odds are ever in its favor, time was not as constraints took a bite out of “The Hunger Games.”
The dystopian tale brought in $251 million in just 10 days, becoming the victor of box office sales and an ever-increasing fan base.
Though the film got a lot of things right, it lacked a few key scenes that were lost in translation leaving true fans wanting more.
For those of you who have yet to jump on the bandwagon and read the books, there are spoilers ahead!
From Haymitch’s drunken fall at the Reaping to District 11’s respect for Katniss to Peeta’s gnarly leg amputation, the film that was just over two hours long still left much to be desired.
Here are the top five scenes from the book that didn’t make it to the big screen:
1. Haymitch Falling Offstage At The Reaping: As depicted in the book, after Effie Trinket begins her infamous, “Happy Hunger Games” speech, we are introduced to Haymitch and his drunken stupor as he falls offstage dramatically at the Reaping. While this adds a little comic relief, it shows a glimpse of the troubled state of District Twelve’s mentor and the effect the Games had on him years later as a grown man.
2. Katniss Became Deaf: After Katniss blew up the Career tribute supplies, the explosion sends her flying in the air and there’s a brief moment where the audience can hear a slight ringing noise. Katniss’ condition is never brought up in the film whereas in the book, blood streams from her ear and leaves her permanently deaf in her left ear. The ability to hear is important for Katniss as it is one of her strengths as she hunts for game, including tributes in the arena. After winning the Games, Katniss regains her hearing after the Captiol provides her with a replacement aid.
3. District 11 Sending Katniss Bread: Instead of including the scene in the book in which District 11 sends a sponsor gift to Katniss containing a loaf of bread, the film opted for District 11 uprising against the government after Rue’s death and starting a riot. In the book, Katniss immediately recognizes the bread from District 11 and says thank you out loud for everyone to hear, especially the Capitol. While the film depicts the power Katniss already possesses over the Capitol, the book sets up the scene to portray the other districts’ willingness to trust her.
4. Katniss Screaming For Peeta After the Games: One of the most powerful parts of the book happens when Katniss and Peeta are airlifted out of the arena and onto the hovercraft as the boy with the bread is taken away from her. Unaware of Peeta’s dramatic leg amputation, Katniss pounds on the glass door screaming his name. While the audience is left wondering what Katniss’ true feelings are for Peeta, this scene shows that regardless of whether it was all an act, she cares for him deeply.
5. Katniss and Peeta Beyond the Arena: As soon as the Capitol train stops, Katniss and Peeta go for a walk and discuss their relationship. He presents her a bouquet of wildflowers as she works hard to look pleased. Peeta finally realizes their so-called relationship was all a routine planned strategically for the Games. The film glosses this scene over whereas in the book we are left with Katniss saying, “The closer we get to District Twelve, the more confused I get.” As the boy with the bread slips away, we get a glimpse from this scene in the book what Catching Fire will be like.