Austin Mohn and a group of nine friends worked on their costumes inspired by the film "The Hunger Games" for the better part of Thursday evening for the midnight showing of the film at Frank Theatres in York Township.
Two were dressed like trees to represent the lumber district in the film. Two others sported fancy dress for the luxury district.
Mohn, 18, and Paige Knapp, 17, were dressed like fish to represent the fishing district.
"We want to do something different than everyone else," Mohn said.
And among the throngs of people - some of whom were dressed up as well - the group of friends stood out.
But like the roughly 1,000 people who held tickets for the showing, they all were looking forward to the start of the next big film franchise.
"So far it looks like it'll be really well done," Knapp said of the first film in a planned series of three "Hunger Games" movies.
Games begin: "The Hunger Games" is based on the first book from author Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy. It's about a futuristic world in which North America has been divided into 12 districts. Every year, a teenage boy and girl (known as tributes) are sent from each district to the opulent Capitol, where they're trained to fight until only one is left.
Anticipating a large crowd, Frank Theatres sold tickets in advance and allowed customers reserve the seats of their choosing. That cut down on lines and got people into the auditoriums faster, said general manager Kevin Scott.
The cinema saw similar crowds for showings of other films, like the last "Twilight" movie. But unlike that movie, "The Hunger Games" pulled in a wide range of fans, some of whom arrived as early as 7 p.m., Scott said.
"I think it's ("The Hunger Games") going to be much more successful," he said. "It hits a broader audience."
Turnout: Brain Pechart, general manager of R/C Hanover Movies 16, was also expecting a good turnout opening night and throughout the weekend.
As of Thursday evening, roughly 600 tickets had been sold, and the film was to be shown at midnight in four of the theater's auditoriums.
However, those numbers pale in comparison to those seen for midnight showings of films that were part of the "Batman," "Twilight" and "Lord of the Rings" franchises.
While "The Hunger Games" is the first of three films planned, Pechart said he expects the series to turn into a big moneymaking fan favorite franchise.
"This has the potential to turn into something like the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy," Pechart said.
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