The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Is Successful For One Reason Only: It Isn't Good Storytelling

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Is Successful For One Reason Only: It Isn't Good Storytelling
Image credit: Lionsgate

The new film is a prime example of franchise power.


  • The Hunger Games: TBOSAS premiered a week ago and has amassed a small fortune.
  • Despite its financial success, the movie isn't that interesting.
  • The franchise's popularity might have something to do with TBOSAS' impressive performance this week.

It's been only a week since the most anticipated film of the fall of 2023 – The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes – premiered, but it has already made a huge splash in the industry. The sole prequel of the super popular anti-utopia franchise, it is set decades before the events of the main film series and follows Panem's future dictator, President Coryo Snow, in his bid to restore his family's glory.

Starring Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Viola Davis, and Peter Dinklage, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes has proven popular with audiences worldwide, grossing a staggering $120 million in just one week since its release. Given that the film was produced on a $100 million budget, it is a feat in its own right. Naturally, many people wonder how well the movie will perform in the coming weeks. Yet, it would appear that the prequel isn't as good as it might seem.

Successful ≠ Interesting

Although The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes has seemingly proven financially successful, its quality as a film remains dubious. While it isn't particularly bad, it is mediocre at best. The reason is simple – the premiere isn't as interesting as the previous installments of the franchise.

Many viewers say that it's done an okay job translating the eponymous book by Suzanne Collins to the big screen, but it has fallen short of fleshing out the characters and their complex personalities. Moreover, the audience is ranting and raving about the elimination of Ma, Snow's adoptive mother, from the film which has robbed him of a fascinating internal conflict.

More significantly, fans of The Hunger Games are disappointed by TBOSAS' illogical pacing where the film skips whole chunks of the story and drags out certain less important moments.

'I also didn't love how they condensed the mentor timeline to add more arena timeline and also how they had cameras in the tunnel. I get why they have to for a movie (the need for action), but I didn't like it,' one Reddit user commented on the new film.

What's Behind TBOSAS' Success?

Apparently, there are only two factors that the new Hunger Games installment's success may be attributed to. First, the star-studded cast undeniably benefits the movie as Viola Davis and Peter Dinklage's performances are impeccable, and their star power helps the production immensely.

Then there's the immense popularity of The Hunger Games franchise, as most fans feel obligated to see the prequel out of love for the series, even if the movie in question isn't particularly good. Ultimately, we'll have to see how well TBOSAS does in the near future, but we have a feeling that it won't be a hit after this week's success.

Source: Reddit.

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