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‘Hunger Games’ premieres, opens soon

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-13 17:59:59-04

The much anticipated film “Hunger Games,” premiered last night in Los Angeles.

The science-fiction futuristic plot centers around a society that forces children to fight each other to the death, while it is televised to the nation.

The movie open March 23 for the rest of the nation.

(CNN) -- "Hunger Games" star Liam Hemsworth says he's ready to take on the paparazzi and rabid fandom that'll come with the anticipated adaptation, thanks to some advice from girlfriend Miley Cyrus.

"Keep your head screwed on straight - I think that's the best advice she's given me," Hemsworth told CNN Monday at the Los Angeles premiere. "It's very surreal and I'm constantly pinching myself. I just feel like I'm on this crazy ride at the moment. I feel very fortunate to be where I am."

The sage words could not have come at a better time.

Hundreds of screaming, sign-waving "Hunger Games" devotees crowded the red carpet to cheer on Hemsworth and co-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, who said he'd never met more passionate fans.

"It's extremely mind-blowing," Hutcherson said at the star-studded premiere, also attended by Stanley Tucci, director Gary Ross, Michael Chiklis, Miranda Lambert, Donald Sutherland and Sylvester Stallone. "I've never seen people so passionate about anything in my life. To kind of see them firsthand and have it [be] something that I'm involved with is incredible."

For her part, Jennifer Lawrence claimed that even in real life, she simply could not make the call about which team she'd rather be on: Hutcherson's "Team Peeta" or Hemsworth's "Team Gale."

"Neither," she joked, referring to the film's characters. "Nah, I'm kidding. You can't choose. I'm in the same pickle as her."

Hemsworth, however, took a side.

"I'm Team Haymitch. I'm a big fan of Woody Harrelson and a big fan of that character," Hemsworth explained. "So I'm on that team. I'm trying to make that team bigger. Start it up."

Hutcherson agreed.

"It is tough, [but] for me, though, I think I'm Team Haymitch," he said. "I'm a big Woody Harrelson fan. I think he kills it in the movie. That's the team I'm on for sure."

No matter which side fans take, "Hunger Games" - when it opens nationwide on March 23 - is on target to become a box-office-shattering success, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Initial forecasts indicate the Lionsgate vehicle could potentially score one of the top debuts of all time at the domestic box office - even bigger than "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1," which debuted to $138.1 million in November.

CNN's Kareen Wynter contributed to this report.

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