The first book in the trilogy was published the year after Recession hit the global economy. The film was released a year after the Occupy Movement had pushed social inequality into world headlines.
The Hunger Games is patently a more extreme reading of real life, but there are some cross-over themes. It's merely the scale (or is that the honesty) which has shifted. That mirroring of reality will certainly strike a chord in audiences, which might account for its huge popularity.
I was about to write that it's only a matter of time before we see Occupy the Hunger Games as an internet slogan. But I'm too late. The Facebook page already exists; and the news headlines are full of criticism for Gossip Girl actor Penn Badgley for making similar observations.
He's quoted widely as saying, "It's the one percent [killing the kids]. I think you'd have to be blind to not see that. I was shocked to see all that in there." Before advocating revolution for both the main characters and, by implication, real society.
I have no idea who this man is. The comments imply that it's not 'cool' to listen to a word he says. He's called it spot on, from my own personal observations.
This isn't to say that Suzanne Collins, nor the movie's directors, set out to immortalize the Occupy Movement in celluloid. They are two parallel reactions to the same social backdrop. There are no protest camps in The Hunger Games; though the undertones of revolution are there, boiling beneath the surface.
The same real world undoubtedly inspired both cultural expressions though. While Occupy shine a light on the reality of the wealthiest 1% controlling and exploiting the masses; Collins wrote a story which depicts just that. And both became extremely popular, because the reading/watching/disenfranchised public patently identify with their central message.
Or, as the Libertines put it in Time for Heroes, 'We will die in the class that we were born, but that's a class of our own, my love.'