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‘The Hunger Games’ Index: 6 Companies That’ll Benefit From Blockbuster

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Kapitall has done it again. The stock strategy company that came up with the Harry Potter Index has taken a look at the possibilities of the blockbuster The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, and put together a list of companies likely to profit from their association with the film or its parent book for the Hunger Games Index. The movie, which was released March 23, grossed a whopping $155 million in it’s opening weekend.

The dystopian future of the Games, the vision of author Suzanne Collins, pits teens against one another in a fight-to-the-death televised spectacle orchestrated to provide the audience with its ration of bread and circuses. Each company associated with the books and movie(s) hopes you’ll find that dark vision a compelling one, so that you and many others will help their investments pay off.

Although the world depicted in the books and movie is anything but a booster for capitalism, the index may very well be. Here are the six companies Kapitall says will benefit most from the hype.

Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson at a Harry Potter event. (Photo: AP)1. Scholastic Corp.

Exclusive U.S. publisher of the Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay), Scholastic (SCHL) also saw its fortunes rise as if by magic with Harry Potter and his friends. Since book series sales generally rise with movie releases, Scholastic looks to be about to receive a gift from its sponsors.

Amazon package being delivered. (Photo: AP)2. Inc.

The Web bookseller Amazon (AMZN), and seller of just about everything else in the world as well, looks poised for massive traffic and sales if the movie is as big a hit as anticipated. (And, of course, once the movie hits DVD release, there will be another upsurge—this time in both books and movies.)

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner3. Hasbro Inc.

Hasbro (HAS) holds the rights to a lot of Harry Potter-themed game and toy merchandise. Kapitall theorizes that it might well position itself in a similar manner with The Hunger Games goods. If it does, it will be one of the tributes to come out ahead in the cutthroat business of toymaking.

Mattel headquarters in El Segundo, Calif. (Photo: AP)4. Mattel Inc.

Like Hasbro, Mattel (MAT) cashed in on Harry Potter, says Kapitall. Action figures and plush from the wizarding world helped boost its bottom line—and the company has already signed on to produce Barbie-type dolls inspired by characters from The Hunger Games. As audiences flock to cheer Katniss and Peeta, why wouldn’t they want their own Hunger Games characters to see how good they are at survival?

Cast of "Mad Men," produced by Lionsgate, at NYSE. (Photo: AP)5. Lionsgate Entertainment

Lionsgate (LGF) is the studio behind the movie, and as such, it stands to make it big if audiences are as wild about it as the hype leading up to its release are. With two more movies (assuming the books don’t get split into even more pieces, as happened with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Twilight: Breaking Dawn), that’s a nice pile of change to look forward to—and an advantage over all its rivals in the field.

An IMAX theater. (Photo: AP)6. IMAX Corp.

Diehard movie fans tend to see their favorite films many times in the theater, pre-DVD release, and that includes IMAX (IMAX) versions. Devotees of The Hunger Games will likely be no different; that should give IMAX a boost—now and at sequel time.

"The Hunger Games" movie poster. (Photo: AP)7. Miscellaneous Tie-Ins

While Kapitall doesn’t name names, it does theorize that other companies related to the plot and/or characters will also feel the effects of a blockbuster success. Katniss is an archer extraordinaire; therefore, sporting goods companies that manufacture archery equipment could see an increase in sales, as could archery ranges and sporting goods retailers.

Then there are the other tools used by tributes to survive or battle their way through to another day of competition—all possibilities on which marketing mavens can work their wiles.

And don’t forget: there are the jewelry, makeup, and clothing tie-ins to consider. The mockingjay that is the symbol of rebellion could find innumerable outlets for expression and boost everything from T-shirts to pins to necklaces—as could Cinna’s innumerable costume and makeup touches.

Let the games begin!


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