Can The Hunger Games Help Make Internet Explorer Cool Again?

Really, it’s a story about building brands. Hunger Games Explorer is a digital community/marketing platform built by Red Interactive for — you guessed it — The Hunger Games. Specifically, for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which is the second installment of the book-turned-movie trilogy due to be released in theaters on November 27.

For some context, Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF) is the distributor of the movie franchise, and the company’s coffers have grown fat off of the brand. According to Box Office Mojo, The Hunger Games has grossed $691.2 million worldwide, and is the 13th top-grossing domestic film of all time. With a budget of $78 million, the first movie was a money-making machine — and expectations are high for he second installment.

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Hence the creation of Hunger Games Explorer, which is the official go-to hub for the franchise, and was launched this past Sunday. Ostensibly, this type of promotional activity is nothing new. Pretty much every movie has a website, and every major brand has some sort of curated community component. The interesting twist with Hunger Games Explorer is the involvement of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). (If you have ever used Windows 8, just take one look at the website to see Big Softy’s influence.)

The site looks like it was designed pretty much from the ground up to show off the power of HTML 5 and put some of the “cool” back in Internet Explorer, which has been engaged in its own re-branding campaign recently.

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