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How To Watch The Hunger Games Franchise In Chronological And Release Order? Explored

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If Hymitch was your favorite character in The Hunger Games franchise, you are in for a treat. A brand new prequel focusing on the character, based on Suzanne Collins’s upcoming book The Hunger Games: Sunrise On The Reaping is coming to the theaters in 2026.

While the last prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games trilogy, the upcoming prequel is set to revisit Panem 24 years prior to the trilogy. Its main focus will be on the 50th Hunger Games, also called the Second Quarter Quell where Haymitch Abernathy of District 12 was declared the winner. Wondering what to watch when in the franchise? We have got you the chronological order to watch the films along with when they were released.

What is The Release Order of The Hunger Games franchise?

Inspired by Collins’s novel series of the same name, The Hunger Games is a series of sci-fi dystopian adventure films. Distributed by Lionsgate, the trilogy stars an ensemble cast comprising Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, and Donald Sutherland as President Snow.

The release order of the films is– The Hunger Games (2012), Catching Fire (2013), Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014),  Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015), and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023). With mixed reviews, the film series has grossed over 3.3 billion USD at the box office worldwide. Now, check out below the chronological order to watch the movies.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)

Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel set over six decades before the event of the events of The Hunger Games trilogy. Based on Collins’s novel of the same name, the screenplay is penned by Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt.


According to the plot summary, the film centers on Coriolanus, who represents the Snow family’s last hope against their dying lineage, as he embarks on a survival race against time to find out if he will end up a snake or a songbird. The film stars Tom Blyth as Coriolanus and Rachel Zeglar in the lead along with Viola Davis and Peter Dinklage as antagonists.

Though unreleased, The Hunger Games: Sunrise On The Reaping is the next as per chronological order since it takes place 40 years after The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and 24 years before the trilogy begins. While the book is scheduled to release on March 18, 2025, Lionsgate has already announced the date for the film released based on it scheduled for  November 20, 2026.

The Hunger Games (2012)

Directed by Gary Ross, The Hunger Games follows Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson) and Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) who are made to participate in the Hunger Games, a complex televised competition between teenage competitors from the 12 Districts of the dystopian nation Panem.

The film features Harrelson as Haymitch and Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, among several others. With a budget of around 78 million USD, the film earned over 695 million USD at the box office.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

The setting of Collins’s novel trilogy, Panem, is a poverty-stricken country consisting of 13 districts. Every year, a lottery selects teenagers from the first 12 districts to participate in The Hunger Games. In Catching Fire, after winning the Games, Panem’s Capitol targets Everdeen (Lawrence) and Mellark (Hutcherson), who is a male tribute from District 12.

The second installment in the series, Catching Fire, is directed by Francis Lawrence and inspired by Collins’s namesake novel. The film earned approximately 865 million USD and became the highest-grossing film in the series. 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

In Catching Fire, the victory of Everdeen (Lawrence) and Mellark (Hutcherson) lands them at the center of the rebellion in Panem and she struggles to become their symbol in Mockingjay Part 1. Following the guidance of District 13 leader President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), Everdeen resolves to valiantly oppose President Snow and free Mellark, who is being held captive and subjected to psychological reprogramming.

Francis returned to the director’s chair for the third installment of The Hunger Games film series. It earned over 755 million USD at the box office.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)

As the rebellion approaches the Capitol’s periphery in Mockingjay Part 2, Everdeen (Lawrence), accompanied by Mellark (Hutcherson) and her closest companions from District 13, sets out to kill President Snow (Moore). The rebels will confront lethal adversaries, death traps, and moral choices that will determine the fate of millions of people in Panem in a decisive fight.

Directed by Francis, Mockingjay – Part 2 earned over 660 million USD at the box office.

ALSO READ: 6 Hunger Games Theories That Might Feature In New Haymitch Prequel Book, Check Them Out

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