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‘Hunger Games’: Oxfam using film opening to launch ‘Hunger Is Not a Game’ campaign

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Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from "Hunger Games." (Lionsgate)

With the highly anticipated opening of "The Hunger Games" on March 23, Oxfam America is mobilizing a group of volunteers to blanket hundreds of movie theaters to promote a campaign—dubbed "Hunger Is Not a Game"—to fight worldwide hunger.

The organization is partnering with the Harry Potter Alliance to gather signatures for a petition to urge Congress to reform the U.S. Farm Bill and to collect food for local food banks.

The Harry Potter Alliance was launched in 2007 to fight "the Dark Arts in the real world" by using parallels from the Harry Potter books. ("Just as Dumbledore's Army wakes the world up to Voldemort's return, works for equal rights of house elves and werewolves, and empowers its members," its mission statement reads, "we work with partner organizations in alerting the world to the dangers of global warming, poverty and genocide.")

Oxfam is hoping to channel some of that wizardry later this week.

"The excitement and enthusiasm about the launch of 'The Hunger Games' offers a unique opportunity," Vicky Rateau, the campaign's manager, told Yahoo News. "If we can tap into even a portion of that energy, great things are possible."

The film—starring Jennifer Lawrence as teen who competes in a televised death match set in a dystopian future—is expected to generate more than $100 million at the box office in its opening weekend. The first Harry Potter film, in 2001, generated $90 million in its opening weekend. The eighth and final one, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," raked in more than $169 million last July.

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