The Hunger Games Movies in Order
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The Hunger Games Movies in Order

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The Big Picture

  • Lionsgate’s decision to release the prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, has Hunger Games fans eagerly awaiting the foundational story that explores the rise of the series’ villain, Coriolanus Snow.
  • The upcoming prequel features a talented cast, including Tom Blyth as young Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird. The film is written by Michael Lesslie and directed by Francis Lawrence.
  • The Hunger Games franchise can be watched in two popular orders: by release date or by chronological timeline. It’s time to refamiliarize yourself with the world of Panem before the new movie’s release.


The Hunger Games novels by Suzanne Collins is a popular young adult series followed by a series of successful movie adaptations. The prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, released in May 2020, continues the saga, with The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes coming to theaters on November 17, 2023. The franchise’s fans are eagerly awaiting the release of the foundational story that lays out the rise of the series’ villain, Coriolanus Snow. The cast of this upcoming prequel includes Tom Blyth as the young Coriolanus and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird. The film is written by Michael Lesslie based on a draft by Michael Arndt. Francis Lawrence is returning as director. Additional cast includes Peter Dinklage as the intellectual author of the Hunger Games, Hunter Schafer as Tigris Snow, Coriolanus’ cousin, Josh Andrés Rivera as a tribute from District 2, Jason Schwartzman as the television host for the games, Viola Davis as the gamemaker, Fionnula Flanagan as Coriolanus and Tigris’ grandmother, and Burn Gorman as the leader of the peacekeepers in District 12.

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As we prepare for the new movie to be released, you may want to refamiliarize yourself with the world that President Snow shaped. And in case you find yourself a tad bit confused by the growing world of Panem, we have put together this guide together, so everything is crystal clear. So if you are planning to binge on The Hunger Games franchise, this list covers the two most popular orders to watch the series, by release date and by chronological timeline.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on November 5, 2023.


‘Hunger Games’ Movies in Order of Release

the-hunger-games-catching-fire
Image via Lionsgate

The Hunger Games – March 23, 2012.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – November 20, 2013.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – November 21, 2014.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – November 20, 2015.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – November 17, 2023.

‘Hunger Games’ Movies in Chronological Order

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)

The Hunger Games The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Film Poster

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute, and decades before Coriolanus Snow became the tyrannical President of Panem. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12. But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates. With everything he has worked for hanging in the balance, Snow unites with Lucy Gray to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.

Release Date
November 17, 2023

Director
Francis Lawrence

Cast
Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth, Peter Dinklage, Jason Schwartzman, Burn Gorman, Fionnula Flanagan

While the film hasn’t been released yet, it is the earliest point in the timeline of the movies. The story focuses on Coriolanus Snow’s influence on the mentor system as Snow attempts to rise in the ranks of Panem on the road to becoming the poisonous president that we are introduced to in The Hunger Games. His road to power is based upon the success of District 12’s female tribute Lucy Gray Baird during the 10th Hunger Games and how well Baird and Snow can work together to change how the Games are played. If you are a dedicated reader of the series, you may already know the ending. However, the rest of us are curious how the President of Panem developed his affinity for poison and power.

The Hunger Games (2012)

the-hunger-games-poster

The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.

Release Date
March 12, 2012

Director
Gary Ross

Cast
Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Jennifer Lawrence, Willow Shields, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks

64 years after the events of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, we are introduced to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), another District 12 tribute who volunteers to take her sister’s place during the 74th annual Hunger Games. She, alongside her literal on-screen romance Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), fights against the hardened competitors from the other districts to become the last two tributes standing. Throughout this fight, we come to see the depths of desperate actions that the Capital will go to keep the districts in chains.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

Release Date
November 22, 2013

Director
Francis Lawrence

Cast
Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Jack Quaid, Taylor St. Clair, Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Woody Harrelson

After Peeta’s and Katniss’s victory in the 74th annual Hunger Games, they are once again drawn into the 75th Hunger Games. This time they are fighting a mixed field of former victors, some of whom might be friends and many who are enemies. With her unconventional win of the previous Hunger Games, Katniss returns to the Capital as a beloved victor. Her influence on the Districts is important and she becomes a beacon of hope. Unbeknownst to Katniss, a small group of victors conspires to rebel against the tyrannical Capital with the help of the mysterious District 13. Unfortunately, in the chaos of the extraction attempt, several tributes are left behind to become hostages in the coming war between the districts and the Capital.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 poster
Image via Lionsgate

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Katniss Everdeen is in District 13 after she shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.

Release Date
November 19, 2014

Director
Francis Lawrence

Cast
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 begins with a defeated Katniss Everdeen struggling to become the icon of the rebellion. Her time in the underground world of District 13, and the mental stress of being forced to fight to the death twice haunts her, hampering her self-confidence and ability to connect with others. To make matters worse, we see the ongoing ruination of Peeta as he is psychologically reprogrammed with Trackerjacker venom. Katniss insists she should be deployed to the combat zone to help fight for the rebellion she wishes to support and begins to make some progress in rallying the districts. However, President Snow undercuts this progress by allowing the capture of the reprogrammed hostages by District 13 as the rebellion advances on the capitol itself. Despite Katniss’s struggles, the sight of what the common soldier is experiencing galvanizes her towards becoming the icon everyone is expecting her to be.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 poster
Image via Lionsgate

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Katniss and a team of rebels from District 13 prepare for the final battle that will decide the fate of Panem.

Release Date
November 18, 2015

Director
Francis Lawrence

Cast
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer

Splitting the story in half, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 sees the rebellion comes to the edges of the Capital, President Snow instructs his game makers to create a labyrinth of traps throughout the Capital. The atrocious loss of life and political pressure from President Coin forces Katniss and Gale to commit an attempted assassination of President Snow to end the war as quickly as possible. With limited options that allow her continued position in power, President Coin chooses to send an unstable Peeta into the warzone in an attempt to sabotage Katniss’s plan. As this intense series begins to draw to a close, we see some of the most potent sacrifices yet and a strike deep into the heart of the Capital that puts the weight of the whole nation on Katniss and her band of heroes.

What’s Next?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes all started with an innocuous reference to a fourth winner of the Hunger Games. While Suzanne Collins has not released any more information about another book in the world of Panem, few expected any more prequel content at all. Collins writing has been her platform to expound on war theory, and she decided that Coriolanus Snow would be an apt character to use to continue her discussion of that theory. Despite his insidious and devious future, the trailers for Songbirds and Snakes paint the young Coriolanus as a sympathetic character which can offer audiences a look into how a person becomes corrupted by the games. Some fans may still hope that Collins decides to utilize the world of Panem again to further that narrative. Whatever the case may be, the world of Panem provides us with an enthralling story that makes us question the cost of victory even in the fight for freedom.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes arrives in theaters on November 17. Check out advanced tickets via the link below.

Pre-Order AMC Tickets

SOURCE : collider.com

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