'Hunger Games' provides economic boom to Charlotte area

'Hunger Games' provides economic boom to Charlotte area

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 6 at 7:51 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The biggest movie ever shot in North Carolina is set to open in just two weeks, and now we're learning how much money the movie is pulling in for Charlotte.

Critics say ‘The Hunger Games’ is going to be bigger than 'Twilight,' as big as 'Harry Potter.'

‘The Hunger Games,’ based on the best-selling novel, was filmed throughout Charlotte, including scenes in uptown and Concord.

“We are so excited.  This is the largest feature film we’ve ever had in the Carolinas.  We are thrilled,” said Beth Petty, who heads up the film division of Charlotte's Regional Film commission.

Petty helped with 'Talladega Nights' and ‘The Patriot,’ big movies shot in Charlotte.  But they hardly compare to ‘The Hunger Games.'

The production spent $60 million in the area, mostly in Charlotte, according to Petty.

“It’s spread across the board—rental cars, hotels, housing.  So many industries and businesses were affected by this production,” she said.

“This was their hub…They started coming in February, so that was a long time that they spent on the ground in Charlotte,” she added.

A lot of that time was spent at the old Phillip Morris plant in Concord.  Petty says if someone turned the plant into a permanent studio, it could only mean more movie making.

“If we had larger stages that certainly would help us recruit larger productions on the scale of ‘The Hunger Games,’” she said.

The movie premieres March 23, but there will be a special screening here in Charlotte on March 21. 

To sign up for the lottery to get tickets head here.

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