'Hunger Games' Mall Event Madness Freaks Me Out (VIDEO)

OMG, you guys, we're finally only a few weeks from the Hunger Games release date, and I don't know about you but I am getting SO PUMPED FOR THIS MOVIE. In fact, if only I'd known about Saturday's Hunger Games mall tour stop in Los Angeles, I would have booked a last-minute flight in order to get there, because there's no WAY I can possibly wait 5 more days until the tour hits Seattle! I would have camped out a day early to secure my place in line, brought plenty of throat lozenges and Depends for all the screaming and pants-peeing I'd have done when I got a much-anticipated glimpse of the cast, and if I had to punch out a teenage girl to improve my odds of being invited to the meet-and-greet, I TOTALLY WOULD HAVE DONE SO.

Or . . . not. To be honest, having read about the mayhem at this weekend's LA event, I'm sort of questioning my status as a fan. One who's 37 years old and could have sworn mall tours went out of style with Tiffany.


Last Saturday was the first Hunger Games fan event in a weeklong national tour, and if Lionsgate had any lingering concerns over how well their marketing campaigns for the film have been working, I'm thinking the 1,000 eager fans who started camping out at 8 PM the night before should put those fears to rest.

The event was held at the Westfield Century City Mall, with fans lining up for a chance to clap eyes on
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. Only the first 100 who arrived were invited to an exclusive meet and greet (ie, an approximate nanosecond in a castmember's presence, long enough to have a poster signed), and according to one 16-year-old, the situation got a little tense:

It was chaos. When I got there I was No. 49 in line, but ended up No. 64 because people were cutting and getting into arguments. It was very cold and people were upset to not make the top 100. Once everyone got [wristbands], it calmed down.

Another teen who camped out early insisted that a fellow fan faked an injury to cut in line:

There was one girl cutting the line because she had a nose bleed. I think she faked it. Who does that? That was the craziest thing I saw.

Huh. I'm not sure what seems more disturbing: the idea of someone faking a nosebleed to get a better place in line, or the idea that someone observing a real nosebleed thought it was faked.

Anyway, after the autograph session, there was apparently
plenty of crying and screaming from the young crowd ("I touched Liam!" shrieked one girl, having surrendered all dignity), and one lucky fan won a fancy new HP laptop—then instantly tried to trade it in for a chance to meet the cast.

The rabid turnout for this event certainly shows how much enthusiasm there is for the movie among teenagers, which of course makes sense. The film's based on a wildly popular YA novel series, after all.

But what about us older fans who have
ten fifteen twenty years on the movie's target market? I'd sort of been kicking around the idea of trying to see The Hunger Games on opening day, but . . . I don't know, man. I'm not sure if I can handled a theater packed with hundreds of shrieky teenagers. I'd have to fake a nosebleed just to get out of there—while waving my cane and shouting for everyone to get off my goddamned lawn.

With this kind of anticipation built up before the first movie even comes out, there's an insane amount riding on the film franchise.
Can it possibly live up to the ever-ratcheting expectations? We'll find out . . . in just 17 days.

WATCH this short clip from the Hunger Games mall event:

Would you attend one of these Hunger Games mall events? Do you plan on seeing the movie on opening day, or waiting until the fan frenzy dies down a little?

Image via Flickr/popculturegeek

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