Mockingjay’s Big Box Office: Why Audiences Love The Hunger Games

This weekend, Mockingjay Part 1, the third installment of The Hunger Games film franchise, was the victor of the box office with a $123 million haul. On its opening Friday alone, the film made $55 million, making it the best opening day debut of 2014, in addition to having the year’s largest domestic weekend debut (beating Transformers: Age of Extinction’s $100 million opening weekend from June ). Despite being “the weaker tribute” compared to the first two films domestically (The Hunger Games: $152.5 million; Catching Fire: $158 million), Mockingjay Part 1 grossed $275 million worldwide. Those are some kickass numbers, Katniss.

So how do The Hunger Games movies manage to hit the target — you’re welcome, reader, for this archery joke — year after year? Is it the draw of a dystopian society that is so popular in young adult novels? Is it the idea of kids killing each other for TV ratings? Is it Jennifer Lawrence?

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Comics Co-Creator David Nakayama Talks Big Hero 6

Hard NOC Life returns with a look at the phenomenon that is Disney’s Big Hero 6. Joining Keith on the panel are Christelle Gonzales (@christellexoxo), the newest NOC to join the fam, and comics artist David Nakayama (@davidnakayama), who penciled the 2008 Big Hero 6 comic series for Marvel and co-created Wasabi No Ginger and Fredzilla with Chris Claremont.

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NOC Recaps Arrow: Shot Through the Heart

Seven episodes into season three of Arrow and one thing is clear: the universe that is being assembled on The CW is the most consistently entertaining take on DC’s heroes I’ve ever seen in live action1. Coming in to “Draw Back Your Bow,” I was actually expecting it to be one of the weaker ones of the series (and trust me, there were some weak spots, but more on that later) because I didn’t think Cupid — played convincingly by Amy Gumenick — would be a compelling enough villain. But by and large, the quality of the episode was up to par with the rest of the season so far.

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Constantine: Blazing Hell with NBC

I’m not going to pretend I’m a huge Constantine fanboy. I do remember hearing about the character as a teen. I saw the Keanu Reeves movie version and thought, “So Neo takes out demons too? Whoa. Bogus.” Ah method acting by Professor Reeves. Somebody that knows the comics and is really into it would call me out quickly if I tried to get into it all. I just wanted to briefly mention why the new NBC series starring Matt Ryan is working for me.

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NOC Recaps The Flash: Nerds Rule, Bullies (of Steel) Drool

I’m going to start by straight up saying that The Flash might end up being my favorite hour-long show on television. Not right now, but some day. This series has so many strengths only six episodes in: a solid feel for its characters (I was a little bit worried about Iris at the beginning, but now she’s getting her spine), a consistently-propelled character arc for the title hero, and continuously impressive (Gorgeous! Beautiful! Mindblowing!) CGI’ed action-sequences perfectly worthy of the art of the comics.

Also, I would like to note that this episode was directed by Millicent Shelton. YAY WOC + SUPERHEROES!

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Warner Brothers, You Have Failed This City

See, this is why Stephen Amell is my guy.

We make no bones about the fact that we love DC’s CWverse superheroes. Arrow and The Flash have taken up lots of bandwidth on this site, and as each show gets better and better, that isn’t going to change. At the same time, I give a lot of crap to the movie side of DC’s offerings. And that probably isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Anyway, a shockwave was sent through the interwebs when Oliver Queen himself questioned Warner Brothers’ approach to their DC Cinematic Universe.

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Preview the First Issue of Dynamite’s Shaft

We’re only a couple of weeks away from the debut of Dynamite’s Shaft series by writer (and NOC) David Walker and artist Bilquis Evely. If you didn’t preorder the book already, you should find it on the shelves of your favorite comic shops on December 3. (That’s only two weeks away!)

To whet your appetite, Dynamite has released the first few pages of the book to give you a taste of David’s words and Bilquis’ pictures. Just click on the image below for a preview of Shaft #1.

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An Open Letter to The New York Times’ Critic Manohla Dargis about Big Hero 6

It’s too bad that in making its first movie based on a Marvel comic Disney didn’t decide to take a real leap into the future, say, by making Hiro a girl…

Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Dear Ms. Dargis,

I was born in Vietnam shortly before the tanks rolled into Saigon and my family was forced to flee. Raised in South Minneapolis’ largest, poorest, and most racially diverse neighborhood, my father taught me to walk to the library and got me hooked on free books. Later, I would learn to run there, mostly to avoid the myriad groups of bullies wanting to beat me for whatever reason they could conjure that day, and I would read books and comics to take me far away from who I was and where I was. It is safe to say that the majority of my boyhood was spent imagining that I was anything but who I was.

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Making it Up As I Go Along with Larry Hama

A few weeks back, I had the honor to attend the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU’s presentation of Making It Up As I Go Along, a documentary about the legendary G.I. Joe creator Larry Hama. After the screening, I was also able to have a one-on-one conversation with Larry and fielded some questions from the audience in attendance.

If you were unable to be at the screening, the APA Institute has posted the whole thing online, and you can see it for yourself after the jump!

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