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Why I hate two-part movies

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Why I hate two-part movies

Matthew Cooper, Reviews Editor

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The release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 marks another occurrence of a recent Hollywood trend —  two part finales to blockbuster franchises. Since the final chapter of the Harry Potter series, this manifestation of corporate greed has become common practice. While some movies have used two part finales with good reason, recent film franchises have just started to milk their source material for enough content to produce two separate in order to gain extra revenue, and this must stop.

Box office numbers weren’t always the reason for splitting films into multiple parts. Movies like Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2 and The Toxic Avenger Part II and III were originally planned as single films but were split up during editing to avoid extremely long runtimes.

In addition, the producers of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows made the decision to split the movie into two parts in order to do the plot justice. The Deathly Hallows is 759 pages long and the combined length of both film adaptations is 276 minutes. Given the large number of characters and story arcs in the final book, 2.75 pages per minute of screentime warranted the split.

Then came The Hobbit trilogy, perhaps one of the most appalling examples of corporate greed in recent cinematic history. Based on the 293 page prequel to the The Lord of the Rings series, the Hobbit’s three parts clock in at a combined runtime of 513 minutes, almost twice as many minutes of screentime as there are pages in the book. In order to achieve this, the filmmakers wrote original content for the films, adding characters and plot points not present in the source material.

The trilogy suffered from this desperate attempt to gain more revenue. While The Lord of the Rings movies had an average Rotten Tomatoes (a film review aggregator) score of 95%, The Hobbit trilogy received a noticeably lower average score of 66%. Despite this, the films grossed a combined $3 billion.

This brings us to today, with the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. Each book in The Hunger Games trilogy was approximately 385 pages long and the first two films had runtimes of about 145 minutes each. Mockingjay is no longer than the previous books, yet the film adaptations runs for 260 minutes.

Similarly to The Hobbit trilogy, Mockingjay, Part 1 only earned a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes, a step down from the previous films’ 84% and 89%. While the film earned $755 million worldwide, it was another boring, uneventful, and unnecessary cash grab that did not deserve to be the 5th highest grossing film of 2014.

Audiences need to stop paying see mediocre movies that are only being produced to make even more money. If people continue to support multipart films, they will only continue to exist, thus harming the quality of the adapted material.

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Why I hate two-part movies