March 28, 2012: Hungering for Profits?
If you’re of a certain age the mention of archery will conjure up visions of Robin Hood (whether the Errol Flynn or Disney movie versions). But if you know any teens (or are one yourself), archery likely makes you think of Katniss Everdeen, the teenage heroine of the mega-bestselling three-book series The Hunger Games (affiliate link), which has sold more than 23.5 million books in the U.S. alone.
This past weekend The Hunger Games movie opened, bringing in global revenues of $214 million. Americans alone bought $152.5 million worth of tickets, making it the third-largest movie opening of all time (behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 and Batman: The Dark Knight). As a result of Katniss’ courage and heroics (rescuing and reuniting a dystopian version of America), The Los Angeles Times reports that in the past year “sales of archery equipment have increased more than 20 percent,” and “youth participation in the National Field Archery Association’s World Cup tournament in February shot up 40 percent” from 2011.
But you don’t have to be an archery entrepreneur to cash in on the hunger for The Hunger Games. Another article in The Los Angeles Times reports on the flood of licensed merchandise related to the book trilogy and movie. Although many businesses have already scooped up deals on clothing, socks, home accessories, nail polish, ear buds, jewelry, and unofficial guidebooks and cookbooks, there will be three more Hunger Games movies, so the potential lifespan is long enough for new ideas to catch on.
Still, if you think you’ve missed the boat, remember there will be another book hero or heroine that captures the attention (and wallets) of Americans. They’re still playing real-life Quidditch matches, based on a made-up sport in Harry Potter’s world, and Bella’s wardrobe in the Twilight saga spawned years of teenage obsession with plaid flannel shirts.