‘Hunger Games’ Follow-Up ‘Catching Fire’ Sets Theatrical Release Date

Apparently the odds are ever in “The Hunger Games” favor. Though the first installment of the dystopian trilogy has yet to debut in theaters (we have a blazing Mockingjay pin marking March 23, 2012, on every calendar we own), Lionsgate has already set a premiere date for the sequel, “Catching Fire.” And it speaks volumes about the studio’s faith in the fledgling franchise. Clear your schedule for November 22, 2013!

That’s right. Lionsgate is staking its claim on the prized, family friendly pre-Thanksgiving weekend seeing that it will be vacant following “Breaking Dawn”’s final bow in 2012.

“The magical thing about the Hunger Games trilogy is that the books have such a vastly broad appeal,” said Joe Drake, co-COO of Lionsgate and President of its Motion Picture Group. “The stories truly offer something for everyone, and the period around the Thanksgiving weekend is such an opportunity for families and friends to make an event of going to the movies.”

This announcement is just the latest indication Lionsgate considers “The Hunger Games” a tentpole in the making, setting it up for potential boffo box office earnings in a competitive (yet lucrative) holiday month.

Our only complaint? We’ll have to wait a year and a half in between “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire.”

Do you think a November release is a good omen for “Catching Fire”? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!