‘Hunger Games’ Vs. ‘Twilight': Are Comparisons Fair?

If you read any of the reviews or box office reports from this weekend’s reign of “The Hunger Games,” you no doubt read some comparisons to “The Twilight Saga.” Both are based on a series of YA novels with female leads, but how apt are those comparisons?

We’ve taken a look at the key elements of the two series and stacked them up against each other. It turns out that they are inherently different stories, despite what you’ve read this past weekend.

The Books
The similarities shared by “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” begin with the actual novels behind the multi-million dollar franchises. Both Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins struck gold with their first-person narrated novels, told from a young woman’s point of view, and aimed at the young adult quadrant of readers. Meyer’s books fell victim to complaints about poor writing from the outset, while Collins’ trilogy puts the emphasis more on action and cliffhangers, instead of character-centered, supernatural melodrama.

The Heroines
Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swan differ about as much as two female literary characters of the same age can. Katniss is fiercely independent, going as far as to use the affection of Peeta to their mutual advantage in the arena. Bella falls hard for Edward Cullen quickly and depends on his attention for her continued existence, essentially going into a coma when he breaks up with her. Katniss’ strength defines her, while Bella is drawn purposefully without detail to draw the reader in.

The Love Triangle
Both Katniss and Bella find themselves in the middle of a sultry love triangle. The third wheels of each, however, differ significantly in their roles. Jacob Black never poses a threat to Edward and Bella’s relationship; despite the occasional glimmer of hope, Bella insists on keeping him in the friend zone throughout the series. Katniss, on the other hand, has a much more difficult time understanding her initial feelings for both Peeta and Gale.

The Fans
What added so significantly to “The Hunger Games”’s box office success was the male audience, which made up about 40 percent of the crowds opening weekend. “Twilight” skews more heavily toward female viewers, with 80 percent lacking a Y chromosome.

The Movie
“The Hunger Games,” in its first foray into movie theaters, has found significantly more favor than any of the previous “Twilight” movies have. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 85 percent of critics polled reviewed “The Hunger Games” positively, while “The Twilight Saga” averages 38 percent favorable reviews in its first four movies.

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What do you think of “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” comparisons? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!