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February 21, 2012

‘Hunger Games’: New photos, advance tickets and a national tour

Posted in: Movies

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Jennifer Lawrence plays the film's heroine, Katniss Everdeen, in "The Hunger Games." (Lionsgate / thehungergamesmovie.com)

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Josh Hutcherson plays Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from Katniss Everdeen's district. (Lionsgate)

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Liam Hemsworth plays Gale Hawthorne, Katniss Everdeen's best friend in District 12. (Lionsgate)

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Alexander Ludwig plays Cato, a strong tribute from a wealthier district than Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen. (Lionsgate / thehungergamesmovie.com)

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Isabelle Fuhrman plays Clove, a strong tribute from a wealthier district than Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen. (Lionsgate / thehungergamesmovie.com)

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Amandla Stenberg plays Rue, a young tribute from a poor district who befriends Katniss in the arena. (Lionsgate / thehungergamesmovie.com)

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Woody Harrelson plays Haymitch Abernathy, a former Hunger Games victor and current town drunk and mentor/trainer to Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. (Lionsgate / thehungergamesmovie.com)

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Lenny Kravitz plays Cinna, Katniss Everdeen's costume designer and ally. (Lionsgate / thehungergamesmovie.com)

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Stanley Tucci plays game announcer Caesar Flickerman. (Lionsgate / thehungergamesmovie.com)

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Donald Sutherland plays President Snow, the cruel dictator who, as president of Panem, perpetuates the Hunger Games and the Capitol's control over the 12 districts. (Lionsgate / thehungergamesmovie.com)

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An image of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, released on "The Hunger Games" Facebook page. (Lionsgate)

Fans of “The Hunger Games” won’t have to wait long to see Katniss Everdeen take aim on the big screen. Advance tickets for opening night go on sale Wednesday, a full month ahead of the Lionsgate film’s March 23 release, and will be available through MovieTickets.com and Fandango.com.

In the meantime, aficionados of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling young-adult novels can meet the film’s stars during a national mall tour beginning March 3, and they can get a glimpse of their favorite “Hunger Games” characters in new pictures from the film and a new IMAX poster (click through the gallery above).

The new photos, released on the film’s web site, provide a closer look at Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), as well as the less-publicized supporting characters, including Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane, Donald Sutherland as President Snow, Alexander Ludwig as Cato and Isabelle Fuhrman as Clove.

“The Hunger Games” follows the story of Katniss, a girl in a post-apocalyptic North America, now called Panem, who volunteers to take her sister’s place in an annual televised battle to the death. Two children from each of Panem’s 12 districts are forced to compete against one another, partly to punish the districts for a rebellion decades prior, and partly for the amusement of the rich residents of the Capitol.

The film is kicking its marketing campaign into high gear with the mall tour, which begins March 3 at the Westfield Century City mall in the Los Angeles area. Director Gary Ross and stars Lawrence, Hutcherson and Hemsworth will be on hand to meet fans and media at the L.A. event. The weeklong tour, featuring different stars, also includes stops in Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Minneapolis and Seattle. Fans can RSVP to the tour on the film’s Facebook page.

The tour is the latest in a string of “Hunger Games” marketing tactics, including a Twitter puzzle, a fake magazine called Capitol Couture, an 8-bit game for the iPhone and a Facebook app that lets fans get their own virtual Panem ID cards. The movie’s soundtrack is also being promoted, including The Decemberists’ new song “One Engine” (above) and Taylor Swift’s “Safe & Sound” (below). Listen to them in the videos, and let us know what you think about the songs, the apps and the new photos in the comments.

– Noelene Clark

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