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Fans of ‘Hunger Games’ gather ahead of movie

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

BETHESDA, Md. – Fans of the popular book series, “The Hunger Games,” say they can’t wait for the movie that’s opening Friday.

Reminiscent of “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” mania, the “Hunger Games” books are the latest bestsellers to be turned into successful movies.

Fans came together for a “Hunger Games” party Wednesday night at a Barnes & Noble store in Bethesda, Md.

Party-goers, many of them dressed as characters from the books, took part in trivia and costume contests for prizes, enjoyed free refreshments and picked up temporary tattoos.

“(It’s) one of the best books I’ve read. I must say it’s even better than ‘Twilight’,” raves 18-year-old Azhar.

“I love the book. I’m so excited for the movie. It’s just one of my favorite things in the whole wide world,” says 11-year-old Sophie.

The movie is based on the first book in a series of three.

“The books are selling very well. The kids are reading similar to the ‘Harry Potter’ phenomenon,” says Barnes & Noble’s Anthony Gambone.

“It’s heartwarming to see the kids reading,” he says.

Gambone was dressed as President Snow, the character played in the film by Donald Sutherland.

Sophie came dressed as the book’s main character, a teenager named Katniss, complete with a bow.

“She’s a hunter so she has a bow and arrow, and when she gets into the arena she uses her bow and arrow and that’s how she survives the rest of the games.”

Sophie says she’s not good with a bow and arrow, but another fan who turned up with one – 12-year-old Tim – says he shoots occasionally at an archery range. Tim says his interest in archery started before he read the books.

Now through April 15, reader who buy a Nook e-reader at any Barnes & Noble store will be able to download one of the “Hunger Games” books for free.

Meanwhile, Liam Hemsworth, who stars in the film, had to lose some weight for the part.

He talks about it in this video:

And, Jennifer Lawrence, who is in the movie, is showing off her style. Check out the video:

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)