With the knowledge that the U.K. audience was far less familiar with Suzanne Collins's dystopian novel, Lionsgate U.K. employed a weapon to edge the odds in their favor: Taylor Lautner.
"In the U.S. there really wasn't a need to build awareness for the book in the same way as we had to here," Lionsgate U.K. higher-up Zygi Kamasa told The Hollywood Reporter. "We [Lionsgate U.K.] spent a lot of time working with Scholastic [the book's publisher] to get teenagers to read the book."
And what a better star vehicle than the often-shirtless Lautner? When the "Twilight" star's action film, "Abduction" hit theaters overseas, the distributor passed out Collins's book to the first 20,000 viewers.
"The Hunger Games," which premiered in London this past weekend, ended up the year's biggest box office hit in England, at 4.85 million pounds ($7.69 million). A sum that is more than double "Twilight's" first U.K. premiere.