If the first Hunger Games movie surprised everyone with its seamless transition from page to screen, The Hunger Games Catching Fire has all but astounded. With 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, Francis Lawrence has taken the franchise even further than anyone thought it could go, and the box office should represent that after the film’s release on November 22nd.

Hunger Games Catching Fire Jennifer LawrenceJennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Catching FIre

But what’s the secret behind the Catching Fire’s success? Often, films build up a strong set of reviews only to find the rest of the critics aren’t reading from the same hymnbook; that’s when the Rotten Tomatoes score starts to slide. But the latest Hunger Games movie did the opposite. A respectable score in the high 80s looked to be a solid precursor to what everyone expects to be a Thor-toppling box office this weekend.

Jennifer Lawrence is one of the key factors. Not only is she a brilliant actor, as evidenced by her Oscar win last year for Silver Linings Playbook, but she’s marketable too. With her candid approach to the debate surrounding sexualisation, she has pushed the character of Katniss further than Suzanne Collins ever expected she would go.

Watch the trailer for Hunger Games: Catching Fire

“Jennifer Lawrence, of course, is the real draw. Female role models come and go, and Lawrence's Katniss is one of the better ones,” said Village Voice’s Stephanie Zacharek. “Like Katniss ducking a poison-tip arrow, the keepers of Suzanne Collins's trilogy of fantasy novels have dodged the perils of the sloppy second franchise film,” said Cath Clarke of Time Out.

Next Page: Francis Lawrence gets a pat on the back