How long is The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

Lucy Gray in Ballad of Songbirds & SnakesLionsgate

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes prequel movie takes us back into the world of the Hunger Games, but for how long?

In the early 2010s, the young adult dystopian genre permeated the book and movie worlds. One of the biggest and best successes to come from this time was The Hunger Games, set in a authoritarian USA – now called Panem – where children are forced to fight to the death in an arena run by its Capitol.

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The franchise expanded in 2020 when author Suzanne Collins released a prequel novel. This book, titled The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, focuses on the early life of the original books’ villain, President Snow. And now it’s getting its own movie adaptation.

Said movie is almost here, but considering how long the book is, how long is the movie?

How long is The Ballad of the Songbirds & Snakes movie?

The Hunger Games prequel movie is around 2 hours and 38 minutes long. With the film pushing three hours, it’s best to take a bathroom break before heading into the cinema!

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This great length isn’t deterring audiences however, as so far the movie has been receiving rave reviews.

It makes sense that this movie would be the longest, given that it’s also the longest book, standing at over 150,000 words – the closest to this length is Catching Fire, which is just over 100,000.

Because of this length, Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was actually almost split into two movies, akin to Mockingjay. However, given that director Francis Lawrence regretted that previous split for multiple reasons, this idea was quickly forgotten.

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In an interview with us here at Dexerto, the director describe how he cut the long book into one movie: “Obviously when you fall in love with a book and a story, you sort of wanna get as much as you can in it. But even knowing that we were gonna do a long movie, and we knew it would be a long movie cause it’s the longest book, you know there’s gonna be attrition, and you just have to decide what’s most important and let some of the other things fall away.”

The plot for the upcoming movie is as follows: “Years before he becomes the tyrannical president of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow remains the last hope for his fading lineage. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow becomes alarmed when he’s assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird from District 12. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and political savvy, they race against time to ultimately reveal who’s a songbird and who’s a snake.”

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Check out the trailer below, and may the odds be ever in your favor:

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes premieres in cinemas November 17, 2023. Check out our other Hunger Games coverage below:

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