'Hunger Games' previews missing something important?

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hunger-games-imax-poster.jpgPreviews for "The Hunger Games," which opens March 23, are getting fans hyped for the premiere even though they're missing one crucial element from the books: the games themselves.

Not that Lionsgate is expecting anything less than stellar box office numbers for the film -- analysts estimate the studio could generate between $800 million and $2 billion of profit for the four films -- but in what could be deemed a risky move, the studio has created a $45 million marketing campaign featuring none of the fight-to-the-death battle for which the books are named. The film itself cost more than $100 million to make.

"If you can get people excited while insinuating that you haven't even shown them the good stuff yet, it's an incredibly powerful notion," Jim Gallagher, a consultant who formerly ran marketing for Walt Disney Studios, tells the Los Angeles Times. "Most films can't afford to play so coy."

But Lionsgate, which also acquired Summit (the studio behind "Twilight") in January, can. The LA Times reports that pre-release surveys show the film will open to more than $100 million domestically, making it the first movie to ever hit such numbers while keeping so much of its content under wraps.

What do you think of the studio's marketing strategy?
Photo/Video credit: Lionsgate