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    The Hunger Games Gets the Twilight Treatment!

    Jennifer Lawrence, EW EW

    Ka-ching.

    That's the sound that was dancing in Lionsgate's head when the studio decided that The Hunger Games trilogy should unfold as a four-film series, à la The Twilight Saga and Harry Potter. (Well, those are four-turned-five and seven-turned-eight, but you get our drift.)

    Obviously, we're muy curious about how (if not why) the team plans to go about this. Like, is there going to be Catching Fire and then a two-part Mockingjay? Or...

    MORE: Five sexy reasons to see X-Men: First Class

    Alas, those answers are for another time.

    But while the creative kinks are still being worked out, the real brains behind this decision are talking up what they see as the studio's next tent pole.

    "The property is generating tremendous buzz and excitement, and it all points to a major Lionsgate franchise in the making," CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

    "We have distributors who consider this as their big brand next year, the movie that can change their company," added motion picture group president Joe Drake.

    Actually, Lionsgate probably wouldn't mind if it changed their company a little bit, either. Its motion picture group saw a 10-percent surge in revenue over the last fiscal year (including on-demand and DVD money), but Feltheimer admitted that their films had been hit-and-miss at the box office.

    "Our numbers going forward should reflect growing momentum in our film business," he said in a statement.

    Not to mention growing interest in an independent, ass-kicking teen played by Jennifer Lawrence who's fighting for her life at the behest of a cruel and unusual government.

    For four films instead of three!

    GALLERY: Meet the cast of The Hugner Games!

    (Originally published June 1, 2011, at 8:21 p.m. PT)

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