MANHATTAN — The hunger hit New York City hard last night, as the the midnight premiere of "The Hunger Games” brought costume-wearing, bow-and-arrow-wielding fans to theaters across the city.
"First on line for #HungerGames in this NYC theater!" Twitter user Shoshana Kessock wrote on Thursday. “Excited? Me? Nahhh. Just ten hours to go.”
The film, which drew legions of fans to Union Square earlier this week for a star-studded signing event at Barnes & Noble, is based on Suzanne Collins' bestselling young-adult series about a post-apocalyptic world that holds an annual battle in which two teenagers must fight to the death.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence, who earned an Oscar nomination her role in the drama “Winter’s Bone,” plays the lead role of Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to fight in place of her younger sister. The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, who plays the boy Katniss must kill in order to survive, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth and Lenny Kravitz.
The series of three books has been wildly successful, rivaling the popularity of the "Twilight" series and sparking similar madness among tweens, teens and even adults.
"The theatre for #HungerGames is filled with classes of middle school and elementary," Phil McCrickard tweeted in advance of the midnight premiere. “Man I wish I went to school in NYC."
Fans lined up in front of theaters, some dressed in costumes, others carrying Katniss' signature bow . One person took to Twitter to lament the fact that New York lacks any Hot Topic stores. The chain is selling a line of “Hunger Games”-themed swag.
“Eating mint leaves. in my katniss costume. asking for allies,” tweeted @LaurenCoconut. “i have never felt so alive. #hungergames #thgpremiere #nyc.”
A few couldn't resist a fleeting mention of Occupy Wall Street, given fans' invasion of sidewalk space that accompanied the premiere.
"#ows in #unionsquare should go get in line for #hungergames opening night," @_nasdaf_ tweeted. "You're allowed to sleep on the streets as long as your consuming."