Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Broke Hunger Games Record Already

Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Broke Hunger Games Record Already
Image credit: Lionsgate

If you plan on going to the movies this November to watch The Hunger Games spinoff, make sure you don't drink too much.

We don't yet know how The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will fare at the box office or with critics and audiences, but it's already made history in the Hunger Games franchise.

The prequel to the hit survival game movie series has broken the record for the longest running time. At two hours and 37 minutes, it is 7 percent longer than the previous franchise record holder.

For comparison, the first installment, The Hunger Games, has a runtime of 142 minutes, the second film, Catching Fire, runs for 146 minutes, and the two final films, Mockingjay - Part 1 and Part 2, have runtimes of 123 and 137 minutes, respectively. At an impressive 157 minutes, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes surpasses Catching Fire by 11 minutes.

So you want to go easy on drinks before and during the movie. You don't want to miss anything important, do you?

A Lot to Cover

It is easy to understand why such a long runtime is necessary. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has a lot of ground to cover in one story.

Based on Suzanne Collins' recent book, the film traces the journey of Panem's notoriously authoritarian ruler, Coriolanus Snow. The cold and sinister older man we see die in the original franchise is the end of the journey in the prequel. Something led him down this path, and the spinoff will reveal exactly what that was.

The plot centers on 18-year-old Snow's involvement in the 10th Hunger Games. He isn't a tribute but a mentor to one. Predictably, due to his youth and inexperience, he is assigned a weaker contestant from the impoverished District 12.

However, Lucy Gray Baird, a traveling musician, is far from ordinary and refuses to succumb to the games without a fight. Her charisma and Snow's political savvy may tip the scales in Lucy's favor. The problem is this kind of scheming also has the potential to corrupt individuals, which is precisely what happens to Snow.

We'll see how his story plays out when it hits theaters on November 17, 2023.

Will you go to a cinema to see The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?