THE WORLD WILL BE WATCHING On March 23, 2012, the world was watching. Across the country, theaters were sold out. Fans grasped their tickets, waiting to take their seats. At the stroke of midnight, The Hunger Games — the most highly anticipated film of the year — exploded into theaters. Like the book it was based on, the movie was an instant sensation. A phenomenon. A force. Viewers connected with the characters, the themes, and the story in a visceral and powerful way. For four weeks, it was the most popular movie of the nation, eventually grossing $408 million in the United States alone. It was the biggest-ever release in the month of March, the third highest grossing film of 2012, and the thirteenth-highest-grossing film of all time.