7 things The Hunger Games series is making hot again

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire blazed into theaters this weekend, becoming the most successful November debut ever and the fourth largest opening weekend in history. The movie raked in $161.1 million at the box office domestically, and its popularity has sparked numerous popular culture trends.

Here are seven things that the movie series is making hot again.

1. The name Katniss or Kat

Katniss Everdeen the Hunger Games

Granted, Kat has long been an abbreviation for Kate, Katherine or Kathleen. The longer moniker seems to be picking up steam, however. According to Nameberry, the name Katniss was the 10th most popular girl name in the first half of 2013. The ranking was based on pageviews on the site, so it still remains to be seen if the site’s prediction comes true in the Social Security Administration’s actual name numbers at the end of the year.

2. Archery

USA Archery

Katniss’ proficiency with a bow and arrow has led to a rise in people taking up archery, specifically young girls. Since 2011, USA Archery has seen a 105 percent increase in membership. The heroine of the Hunger Games series uses her weapon to hunt animals for food, but most people are training for target shooting competitions — and USA Archery reported a 31 percent increase in participants in its summer national championship event from 2012 to 2013. The organization is even running Hunger Games-themed membership ads on their website.

3. Side braids

Katniss braid

Just search “Katniss braid” on Pinterest and you’ll see what we mean.

4. Strong female heroines

Hunger Games Catching fire featured image

Step aside, Disney princesses. Katniss doesn’t need a man to take care of her. In fact, she’s often taking care of love interest and fellow District 12 resident Peeta Mellark during the Hunger Games. She hunts to provide for her family and has a slightly prickly personality — but also a compassionate side. You go, girl!

5. Fighting for democracy

Hunger Games Capitol announcement

 The people of Panem aren’t happy under the oppressive regime of the Capitol. Even more so than in the first installment of the series, Catching Fire shows the hope and determination of a people desperate to regain their rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all!

6. Picking sides in a love triangle

Team Peeta t-shirt the Hunger Games

 Let’s be honest: being Team Edward or Team Jacob was pretty embarrassing. But the Hunger Games series has once again made it cool to pick sides in an awkward love triangle.  So are you Team Peeta or Team Gale?

7. Pins

Mockingjay pin the Hunger Games

Pins were once reserved for old women, but the mockingjay pin Katniss takes with her into the arena smashed that barrier. The jewelry has now secured a spot in pop culture — with more than 200 listings for “mockingjay pin” on each Amazon.com and Etsy — thanks to the Girl on Fire.

Comments

Polititainment

Obama: LeBron 'did the right thing'

President Obama supports LeBron James' decision to wear an "I can't breathe" t-shirt during warmup before the NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets last week.

Al Sharpton, Hollywood's Sony Liaison

In a private meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Greenwich Hotel in New York City Thursday, Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal told Sharpton that he could have a voice in how the movie studio makes its films.

Clooney: Release 'The Interview' online

George Clooney may have the most awesomely toothy response to the Sony Pictures cyberattack that forced the movie studio to pull the film "The Interview" from its December 25 release.

Jon Stewart might ruin your childhood

Jon Stewart brought his nightmare-inducing recurring character “Gitmo” on the show to talk about the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba.

Colbert's embargo on the Vatican

Colbert had to chide his audience Wednesday night for getting excited about making “Cuba more libre.”

White House

Obama: we can’t have censorship subject to ‘some dictator someplace’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.

U.S. confirms North Korea was behind Sony attack and promises ‘proportional’ response

Officials no longer merely suspect North Korea to be behind the cyberattack on Sony Picture—they’ve confirmed it.

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]
Obama administration extends Pell grants to juvenile offenders
The Obama administration has set out new guidelines that allow for students sentenced to juvenile correctional facilities to be eligible for federal Pell grants. The U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice sent out a joint release Monday that clarified an earlier law. Congress in 1994 prohibited inmates at federal and state prisons from receiving Pell Grants […]
White House denies report that it wants to delay release of CIA torture report

The White House is insisting it wants the Senate Intelligence Committee to release its report on CIA torture practices, despite a report that Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to scuttle it.

Congress

Rubio says Rand Paul is clueless on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio made his criticism of a fellow Republican plain Thursday night.

Gowdy's office responds to Speaker chatter

Rep. Trey Gowdy has become a sensation on the Right, with his no-nonsense style and committee hearing takedowns of Obama officials garnering him praise and attention.

Rand Paul: 'Opening up Cuba is a good idea'

Sen. Rand Paul broke with the Republican Party's prevailing argument against President Obama's Cuba policy Thursday, saying the move toward opening trade with the long-embargoed nation "probably" is a good idea.

Retiring DemHenry Waxman's farewell ode to govt

You'd think that, 40 years in, a congressman might grow cynical about the prospects of government meddling. Not retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)!

Senate Confirms Pro-Gun Control Surgeon General
NATIONAL JOURNAL — The Senate narrowly confirmed a new surgeon general whose nomination was delayed for months in a fight over his comments alleging that guns are a public health issue. The confirmation represents a victory for gun-control advocates, even as recent polling has shown Americans moving in the other direction toward gun-rights protections. The […]