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Hypable

At the Harry Potter Studio Tour press conference, the popularity of The Hunger Games inevitably came up. Speaking to producers David Heyman and David Barron, Hypable found out what they think about movies trying to replicate Potter‘s success, and if the popular franchise comparisons are valid!

Hypable attended the Harry Potter Studio Tours press junket earlier today, and while we will have more coverage of the actual press conference, one topic we can talk about now is what happened when a journalist asked what the panel thought of the success of The Hunger Games.

Overall the entire panel responded positively, with both Evanna Lynch and Tom Felton talking about how much they liked the film.

Later, Hypable participated in a round table discussion with Barron and Heyman and we asked them to expand on what they thought about other film franchises trying to replicate the success of Potter.

Heyman replied that while having been a part of a project which other franchises aspire to “be the next of,” he believed that creators (and consumers) need to stop thinking of new creations like they are the new something else.

You see people trying to replicate it, taking the same format, and it doesn’t work. It’s just that magic dust that Jo created. [...] It’s pretty cool that people think it’s something to be the next of, but actually you can’t aspire to be the next anything. You just have to aspire to make the best film you can, of stories that in some way you connect with.

David Barron added:

Which is where the audience connection came from. [...] I think you can’t try to replicate something. If you’re setting out to replicate something, there’s no truth underpinning it.

Note: They did not name any current adaptation series, nor insinuate that Twilight or Hunger Games set out to replicate what Harry Potter had done.

Later in the interview, Heyman went on to compare Harry Potter to both Twilight and The Hunger Games, and had some interesting things to say about why fans should or shouldn’t compare the different film series:

I don’t think that Twilight is the next Harry Potter, it’s completely different. Yes, it’s aimed for people under 20 primarily, but it’s much more… Harry Potter has an innocence. It’s about a school. And then you look at The Hunger Games, which is again completely different. There is no relation to Harry Potter. The term ‘fantasy’ possibly, but one of the reasons I was able to relate to Potter was that I never thought of it as fantasy. It was reality. It was a bit off-kilter, but it was really grounded in reality: a school, friendship, loyalty, betrayal.

They further discussed how series like Twilight and The Hunger Games really have very little in common with Harry Potter, except perhaps the age range of their protagonists and the fantasy element present in the stories.

Do you agree that there is no cause for comparisons? Or has Harry Potter set a precedent which cannot be ignored when looking at more recent film series of this scale and popularity?

You can read more from the press conference soon here on Hypable, meanwhile check out Selina and Harri’s report from the studio tour, and read what Heyman had to say about a Harry Potter remake!

  • http://dervish-banges.tumblr.com/ Tariq

    There is absolutely no cause for comparisons. They’re all so different and there is absolutely no point in comparing them! You might as well compare a tire to a wheel of cheese. Yes, they’re both round. But the similarities stop there.

    • rdh014

      People always compare popular things of the same genre. Britney and Christina. Jordan to Shaq. Picasso to Matisse. Chocolate to Vanilla. They are different, yes but people compare them anyway. As long as it’s peaceful, I see no harm in it. What they have in common is the fact that they have something that makes people want to watch and read, which is something special. 

      • http://dervish-banges.tumblr.com/ Tariq

        There is no harm, but there is also no point. Hah. Sure it might be fun to compare Edward to Peeta. Or Harry to Katniss. But as far as trying to see which is better or which is the next whatever, it’s completely pointless. 

        • rdh014

          The point of it is people are trying to figure out what makes these books/movies so popular. There is obviously some common denominator and people naturally will compare.

    • Johanna

      yes yes yes thank you!

    • Rcsallyg

      that has got to be the funniest and most awesomely honest thing i’ve ever heard anyone say about all these comparisons. love it! and you are right. one isn’t necessarily better, they are different and reach into different generes. The Hunger Games isn’t fantasy so much as it is dystopian. And saying Harry Potter is more real than Twiligh is a little abusrd. They are both fantasy. To say it’s because they were in school and had loyalty and betrayal, so did Twilight. Hello. 17 forever! always in school!!!! Jacob “betraying” the wolf pack to protect the Cullens, first love, love triangles. Thats pretty real.

      • Blair Warren

        When he said ‘real’ he didn’t mean it literally. I personally think he meant it in terms of “real” as in even though it is a fantasy it gives you very real life lessons about morals, bravery, friendship, love etc etc.
        Yes, Twilight does have these aspects too but as you mentioned the “first love” and “love triangles”… although those are real things they are mostly just girlfriend/boyfriend-level deep issues

      • CliveRogan

         But there’s a massive difference between going to school and being in school forever.  School is meant to teach you things to help prepare you for life, you go in, you learn things, both educational and otherwise, then leave, hopefully prepared for the world at large.  School’s about progression, not just about being there.  That’s what Heyman was talking about, in a developing story and real life, first love is usually just that, the first.  No one knows what they really want when they’re a teenager and it takes growth to realize that.  That’s why Harry Potter is more real than Twilight could ever be.

        • Madsixteen

          Harry ended up with his first love. ;)

          • http://dervish-banges.tumblr.com/ Tariq

            I’d hardly say Ginny was his first love. Ginny loved Harry, yes, but Harry never noticed Ginny until like…the fifth book.

          • Albus99

            But who would be Harry’s first love, if Ginny wasn’t? I’m pretty sure that we knew everything going on in Harry’s head…Harry liked Cho but made no reference to ANY other girls.

          • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

            Wouldn’t his first love be Cho Chang y’all?

          • Catherine

            Cho Chang was “like”.  There’s a big difference.

    • Lauren

      Its so sad when most of my former HP friends only talk about hunger games now…iv read the books and watched the movie but HG will never take over HP for me :)

  • http://twitter.com/boggarthunter Eric Morgan

    The Harry Potter franchise set a high bar of excellence as to what book to screen adaptation should be. It will never be duplicated, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t continue and raise the bar and be true to the page.  In fact, that was one of the things that I appreciated about Hunger Games.  It was totally different from Potter yet I felt that same great feeling when watching the screen and it felt as though it jumped from the source material to the screen.  Both amazing series but they both very much stand on their own.

    • hpatdh33

      Me too, when it was over I had the same  extreme satisfaction I did with all the Potters. But the movie was totally different then Potter.  It was so raw and real I loved it!

    • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

      I actually think that THG is a better adaptation than most of the Harry Potter films, specially HBP!

  • Molly

    I feel like the majority of these comparisons come from the media and people who look at the numbers and the demographics and aren’t actually invested in the source material. 

    • Johanna

      you’re right- real fans never jump to these comparisons, i feel like it’s just the media foisting them on us…

  • Caitlyn

    Is it wrong that I am kind of annoyed with how Heyman responded to the question? I doubt that Suzanne Collins was trying to replicate Harry Potter when she wrote the Hunger Games. And, from seeing the film, I can tell that Gary Ross set out to make the best film possible for The Hunger Games. I did not think that he was trying to copy Harry Potter in any way. It really seems like the film studios and the media are the ones comparing the three series. From watching interviews with the actors and director of The Hunger Games, I got the impression that they just really wanted to do the book and the fans justice and make the best movie that they could. That is really what Harry Potter and The Hunger Games have in common. Great source material with interesting stories to tell and worlds to create, and the drive to bring these to life as best as they can for the fans.

    So the comparisons need to stop because they are completely unfair and just create competitions within the fandom. Which is counter-productive because one of the only thing the series have in common is essentially the same fan base. But both The Hunger Games and Harry Potter are good on their own merit. One based in the supernatural and the other in a dystopian future. One with commentary on the nature of good and evil and the other with messages about government and the exhibitionism of todays society.

    Maybe I am reading it the wrong way, but their comments came off as arrogant and holier than thou.

    • Caitlyn

      As a fan of both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, I really want the comparisons to stop and to be able to enjoy them as completely separate entities.

    • http://hypable.com Selina

       He wasn’t implying that Collins was trying to replicate Harry Potter! If that’s what you took away from it, I need to re-word what I wrote.

      • Caitlyn

        I may have been, and probably was, the only person who took that away from this. It was his quotes that made me jump to that conclusion anyway.

        • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

          I don’t think he meant that. I think he meant that it’s original material what makes great sagas. And the best example (whether people likes it or not) is how after Twilight there were tones of films, books and even series about the same idea, but the success comes from being the first one to do it.

    • Blair Warren

      Honestly I agree with him 100%. 

      At first I was like how does he think that other franchises want to “replicate” and take the same “format” as Harry Potter?

      But it’s obvious what he’s referring to. Harry Potter split its final movie into two parts. Because they had to and if they didn’t the movie would have been rushed and would’ve sucked.

      Then Twilight split its final movie into two parts… Now Mockingjay will potentially be split into two parts. And honestly I don’t think these two books demand to be split into a two-part movie and could have been (or can be in the case of Mockingjay) great single-part movies.

      • Caitlyn

        I did not even think about that! I have not read Mockingjay yet, so I cant comment on if it should be split or not, but Breaking Dawn did not have any reason to be split, in my opinion. I was not thrilled when I heard that they were splitting Deathly Hallows, but at least it was justified. Frankly, as long as they can make both parts good movies, I can go along with the split. The only thing that bothers me is knowing that the first part will always drag on a bit because its mostly set up for the next part.  

        But I dont know how much say the moviemakers have in the decision to split the movie, and how much of it is the decision of the studio.

        Although thats the only way I can see that Twilight and The Hunger Games replicated Harry Potter in a sense. Everything else about how they brought  the three series to life is completely different, as it should be.

        On a side note, I just feel that stuff like this is making me feel like I need to pick a side or say which is the best. And I dont want to do that because I love them both for different reasons and I think that they are both great. And I am not a Twilight fan, but it does have a dedicated fan base, which counts for something. But really, fans of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight are going to get backlash from critics for enjoying whichever series. So we should not keep promoting competition within the fandom.

    • moonshoespotter1712

      He wasn’t trying to way that franchises are trying to copy Potter. I think the way the article is written or structured it seemed like he was talking about a particular franchise copying Potter, but I think he’s just trying to say that film makers don’t set out to make a film like another, but to make their own film as best they can.

  • Hermione Granger

    My God I love that man.

  • Twi-fan

    I believe there is cause to compare absolutely anything to absolutely anything in the world. I can compare Harry potter to a banana if I want to.

    I say there’s no cause in saying one fantasy book series to screen adaption can’t be compared to another fantasy book series to screen adaption simply because you believe one has some extra “magic dust”. If I were to follow that logic, i’d say that nothing can ever be compared to anything because they’re not identical and one obviously has something different from any other thing.

    • http://hypable.com Selina

      Ah the banana totally replicated Potter’s success. Trying to look like a wand and everything. It’s way more realistic though, you know? I feel like I can really relate to the banana. ;)

      Also I think his point was your point, that nothing really should be compared to anything because every project is individual.

  • Maliat24

    I think each series warrants comparission with another. Maybe that’s because I majored in Media Studies and minored in English Literature, and that is just the sort of thing that I like to do. But it makes perfect sense to want to want to compare and contrast… As long as it’s determined that Harry Potter is the best ;)

  • Jason

    I liked the Hunger Games and Twilight was definitely one for the fans, but I just think Harry Potter’s in a league that those two will never come close to. It was the first children’s adaption to be so successful, making it immortal and of a caliber those two have never even reached. It’s consistently acclaimed, and let’s face it- the first Hunger Games movie is going to be the best, as the second is slower and the third is in two parts so that its stretched to the point of slow plot development. These two will be big, and possibly make more money, but that’s only under the influence that Harry Potter originally presented. To me, Harry Potter is among the greats, with Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.

    • hpatdh33

      I love your comment, it really is in a league of its own.

  • Hp-Glee-Hunger-Games-Fan

    People need to stop comparing and competing. I get that people are proud of the fandoms they are a part of (myself included), but just because Harry Potter fans don’t like Twilight, they have better things to do than post about how HP is better, or will never out do them at the box office, and vice versa. Now THG is being brough into the fandom-competition thing. Why can’t we as fans respect and admire our fandoms as individuals? Some love Harry Potter, others Twilight, and others The Hunger Games. Some people like two of the three, or all of them. There’s no reason to compare them. HP was/is a phenomenon. Twilight has a dedicated fan base. THG is doing extraordinarily well and is a terrific book series/film. There isn’t any harm in jokingly comparing fandoms, but I know many HP fans who take every opportunity to put down and criticize Twilight. Most fandoms are known for being kind, accepting, and tolerant towards their members, so why can’t we spread that acceptance across these wonderful different fandoms?  

    • Janet T

       Actually there are many fans of all three, so to say that Harry Potter fans don’t like Twilight or the Hunger Games isn’t quite factual. I belong to several online groups and many of us like all three.

  • SH

    it’s a pretty safe and fair comparison to say these are three substantial book series. They have large passionate fan bases. Written for young adults and still loved by legal adults! I loved the Potter books and movies (not thrilled with the 6th, but it wasn’t terrible). I thought the Twilight books were fun, the movies, meh. But i understand how young girls would adore them. The HG books were quite moving. My friends say I won’t be disappointed with the film. They all have success in common. That they have kept people Reading is wonderful, the movies are a bonus!

  • KristenKranz

    I think when it comes to things like box-office totals, there is no problem with comparing the franchises. Harry Potter, Twilight, & Hunger Games are all Young Adult Lit & therefore will always find themselves compared to other films based off of other Young Adult Lit.

    When you look at the stories themselves & the themes within them, they vary quite a bit. Therefore it is difficult to compare & contrast them. It is silly to compare them in order to try and figure out which one is the “best” because it is all subjective. We are all different & have different opinions about the books we read & the movies we watch. So if critics & movie buffs want to compare the box office success of Twilight to the Hunger Games, all power to them, they are completely comparable, but one is not better than the other. 

  • moonshoespotter1712

    I love David Heyman.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCJSDSEDKYOBEKWGIXCDB2QPYA Henry

    If it wasnt for Potter, I wouldve never read hunger games, or Twilight. Harry Made me love reading(i mean J.K. Rowling) its beautiful to see Female writers do so well too. Harry Potter has its own theme Park, and is a World Wide masterpiece. Hunger Games and Twilight, are American Fabs, but they’re still both amazing. All in all Potter will be remembered forever.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCJSDSEDKYOBEKWGIXCDB2QPYA Henry

    Harry Ron Hermione. Bella Jacob Edward. Katnis Peeta Gale. Two boys One girl…. Next hit should be one boy two girls haha. I guess good things work in 3.

  • TheOneAndOnlyCliche

    THG has no fantasy. It’s purely SF.
    I get a bit irritated when people say that THG is fantasy…I don’t know why, exactly, but I do.

  • http://twitter.com/Snapescape Laura Cain

    “You see people trying to replicate it, taking the same format, and it doesn’t work. It’s just that magic dust that Jo created”
    “There is no relation to Harry Potter. The term ‘fantasy’ possibly”
    Spot on, David Heyman. I respect this man! :)

  • http://twitter.com/SarahKHansen S.K.Hansen

    The Hunger Games and Twilight are popular because they’re different from Harry Potter. Audiences don’t want to watch or read the same thing rehashed in a different series; we want something new and different, but equally good.

  • Chaz

    In the world we are living in now, Hunger Games may not be a fantacy anymore….

  • DreamNox58

    agreed, no cause for comparisons.  I really wish it would stop.

  • eiVega

    It’s just a matter of what you’re actually comparing.  Content-wise, they are three completely different stories.  One’s a fantasy, another a romance and the other a dystopian novel.  People responded to each because they were new, different engaging stories and not just some regurgitation of contrived formulas. However, if you’re looking at it strictly from a commercial standpoint, I think it’s okay to compare.  They are all three successful book series that became box-office smashing franchises.  They are ranked among each other in the box office lists so with similar successes it is fair to pause for another glance.  However, it is dangerous to think they can fabricate the “next” franchise following these examples.  Basically, all we know is that a popular book series will have a loyal built-in fan base and with a well-made film adaptation can further expand the franchise into theatrical success.  The heart of it all though, is a good story.  They should just be looking for a good book.  Trying to make movies from whatever fantasy novel they find won’t work.  (Eragon & Golden Compass).  They shouldn’t just flock for every teen romance.  Looking for post-apocalyptic literature won’t help either.  What studios should learn from these three different successes is that there is NO formula.  However, I do think Harry Potter did usher in this era.  It showed how viable children/young adult literature is in the marketplace.  It has given studios the opportunity to consider these titles more than before.  As long as they find good source material and execute it with the best quality and not just try to disingenuously cash in on a fad, I will be happy to explore even more of the “next” good stories to come.

    • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

      Completely agree with everything you said, and must add that The Golden Compass  (aka “Northern Lights”) is and amazing book from an amazing safa, the problem is exactly what you said, the producers didn’t give a crap about “quality” and just tried “to disingenuously cash in on a fad”.
      In fact, they screwed the best part of the book!

  • http://twitter.com/zizi5621 zizi

    i dnt know bout u guyz but i love twilight, harry potter, AND the hunger games, no need for comparision i love them all the same way. 

  • Cassie

    As someone who loves the Fantasy genre, it annoys me that Heyman sort of puts it down when he says, “I never thought of it as fantasy…It was reality….”  Uh, magic = fantasy, dude!  Great fantasy, like great SciFi, like any great fiction, is always grounded in human reality.

  • ginnymellark

    I completely agree. Whenever people try to compare HP and twilight, it just makes me mad. Personally, I love Harry Potterand I think twilight is fun to hate. But that doesn’t mean they should be compared to each other. They are completely differenet stories.

  • http://twitter.com/twixie09 Lauren Gizzi

    Can we just…stop talking about comparisons between the three? ._. Even when someone writes an article as to why they shouldn’t be compared, it just adds to it.

  • GleeHaterExceptForDarrenCriss

    to all those people who are sick of the comparisons:
    WHEN YOU COMPARE 2 THINGS THEY HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT OTHERWISE THERE IS NO COMPARISON TO MAKE!!!

  • Alohomora

    You can’t compare Harry Potter with anything … It took the world by storm.
    I’m not saying Twilight and The Hunger Games didn’t do that/are not doing it, but they are all completely different things. Sure some Hunger Games fans might be Potter and Twilight fans, but all that says is that an individual likes a variety of things.

  • Janet T

    I don’t see a need to compare the three at all. I like ALL of them. They each have something to say to their audience, which despite being aimed at the younger set, actually transcend that age range.

    You can’t compare the three to “the classics” either. Different books speak to different people depending on their age, life experience and interests.

    I don’t get the animosity of the “fan” groups toward the other “fan” groups. I like a good book and have found the three series to be good reads.

  • HERMIONE

    HARRY POTTER ALL THE WAY!!!!
    Look, I really like the Hunger Games, but somehow, I never had as much FUN reading it. In potter I laughed, I cried, I got really angry. In hunger games… well, you can forgive the career tributes.

  • HERMIONE

    Also, I love Deathly Hallows, whereas mocking jay is mostly just a whole bunch of crap

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