Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return to District 12 after surviving the 74th Hunger Games. President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland) visits Katniss and explains that she has inspired uprisings in Panem. He instructs her to use the upcoming victory tour to convince him she is not a revolutionary or he will execute everyone in District 12. The last place visited is an upper-class party where Katniss and Peeta meet Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the new gamemaker. Their mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) warns her that victors in the games have to serve as mentors to future Tributes.
Commander Romulus Thread (Patrick St. Esprit) and his troops raid homes in District 12 and Katniss’s friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) is flogged. Haymitch, Peeta, and Katniss use their fame as victors to save him from death. Thread gives in but declares a curfew in District 12. The 75th Games are announced and will involve previous victors. The Tributes are angry. Haymitch’s name is drawn, but Peeta takes his place. Katniss wears a wedding dress as ordered, but her stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) has it transform into a red Mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion. Peeta announces that he and Katniss are expecting. Citizens protest to stop the games, but to no avail. Cinna is beaten by the police.
In the games, Katniss and Peeta are aligned with District 4 tributes Finnick Odair (Sam Clafin) and Mags Flanagan (Lynn Cohen), his elderly mentor. Electric shock stops Peeta’s heart and Finnick resuscitates him. They flee a poisonous fog and Mags sacrifices herself. Mandrills attack and Peeta is saved by a sacrifice from a District 6 tribute. On the beach, tributes from District 3 and District 7 are involved. The hazards reappear like clockwork and change constantly. Lightning strikes every 12 hours. After many conflicts, Katniss fires an arrow attached to a wire into the lightning and causes the roof to cave in. Katniss is knocked unconscious.
She awakes in an aircraft with Haymitch and Plutarch Heavensbee, who is a secret rebel against Snow. They are headed for District 13, underground headquarters of the new rebellion, and half the Tributes are involved. Katniss is now the living symbol of the rebellion. They could not rescue Peeta and Johanna (Jena Malone). Katniss attacks Haymitch for not protecting Peeta and she is sedated. She awakes with Gale, who tells her that her family is safe, but her home district is destroyed.
The film, a sequel to The Hunger Games and based on Suzanne Collins’s book Catching Fire, was produced by Nina Jacobson and John Killik. It was directed by Francis Lawrence, from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn. It surpassed the grosses of the first film, was even more popular with reviewers, and received many honors. Production was delayed so Jennifer Lawrence could finish X-Men: Days of Future Past, the most praised X-Men movie. It was shot in Georgia and Hawaii. Some costumes created by Sarah Burton of the Alexander McQueen atelier were used by costume designer Trish Summerville. Ed Sheeren wrote three songs for the movie, but the studio didn’t want them. Trailers were shown at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards and the San Diego Comic-con.
Actors were put through the wringer. Scenes were shot in ice-cold water, they had to eat raw fish, Jennifer Lawrence went deaf for a time. Actress Jenna Malone (Johanna Mason) was supposed to strip in a glass hotel-elevator, and though the film would be PG-13 and she would not appear nude on screen, she decided to strip for real because the actors on the elevator with her were close friends. Unfortunately, a hotel employee and two guests appeared, stunned. She stayed in character until the scene was finished and then fell over laughing. Here is a list of the Hollywood films that were top of the yearly box-office with a top-billed female lead: The Sound of Music in 1965, The Exorcist in 1973, and Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2013.