'Hunger Games' attracts tourists to North Carolina

One of 2012's blockbuster cinema successes, The Hunger Games is said to have boosted the number of...

One of 2012's blockbuster cinema successes, The Hunger Games is said to have boosted the number of tourists visiting the western North Carolina forest. (©Photo: Murray Close)

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, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

One of 2012's blockbuster cinema successes, The Hunger Games is said to have boosted the number of tourists visiting the western North Carolina forest.

Based on the young adult novel by American writer Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games movie has attracted thousands of tourists to DuPont State Recreational Forest, the primary location for the movie.

According to the Times-News of Hendersonville, the number of visitors to the forest reached 327,000 by the end of October, up by 77,000 over last year's attendance.

The movie was released in North America and around the world in March and April. Since then it has enjoyed global success, grossing $685 million worldwide against its budget of $78 million.

Directed by Gary Ross, the movie had its principal shooting session from May through September 2011 near Brevard in Transylvania County in Western North Carolina. Most outdoor scenes, both from the arena and from the outskirts of District 12, were filmed in DuPont State Forest.

According to the Times-News of Hendersonville, Brevard-based Hunger Games Fan Tours sold out all of its main-season events and were half-full for November (traditionally a slow period).

A second movie, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, wraps up filming shortly in Hawaii after an earlier shoot near Atlanta.

The tourism boost invites comparisons with the town of Forks in the US state of Washington, which saw increased visitor numbers following the success of the Twilight books and movies.

Meanwhile, Dirty Dancing, the 1987 hit which propelled Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey to stardom, also did wonders for North Carolina's profile, boosting its tourism industry by 25 percent.


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