The Hunger Games movie - which took a reported $155 million at the box-office during its opening weekend - could be more influential than its fans may realise. U.S. archer Khatuna Lorig trained lead star Jennifer Lawrence to use a bow correctly in preparation for the film and the athlete says its success is already having a positive effect on the sport.
Speaking to Alex Schmidt of Morning Edition, Khatuna explained how The Hunger Games could encourage youngsters to pick up a bow, saying , "Lawrence is the best ambassador we have, a sort of Kevin Costner", referring to the actor's archery skills in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. She continued, "I think she's the one who's gonna make archery more visible. That's what's happening - and I'm very happy". In fact, archery is featured in numerous movies this year, including the forthcoming Marvel film The Avengers - which will close the Tribeca Film Festival - and the animated movie Brave, by Disney Pixar. Recalling her time spent training Lawrence, Lorig told the Easton Foundations sports website, "After a few lessons, Jennifer was shooting about 100 arrows a day with an Olympic-style recurve. Her technique was great". The athlete is currently looking to earn a trip to the London Olympics this year, 20 years after she made her debut at the games in Barcelona. She's currently ranked as the No. 1 American female archer, though she won't find out if she has qualified for a spot on the team until June.
The Hunger Games, also starring Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, is in cinemas worldwide now. The stars are all said to have signed on for a further two movies in the franchise.