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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– It’s the movie that has everyone buzzing. “The Hunger Games”, shot in North Carolina, premieres Thursday night at midnight.

Governor Bev Perdue says “The Hunger Games” employed nearly 5,000 people and spent about $60 million in North Carolina.

The movie is providing both a boost to the state’s film industry and Wilmington’s box offices.

“So excited, I’m going to see it at midnight,” said Kelsi Teegardin. “I’m leaving at 9:45 and I’ll be there and I’m very excited.”

“Just finished the book last week on spring break so it was perfect timing,” said Bethanne Dehler. “I can’t wait to go see the movie.”

Perdue says fans of the film will be excited to visit the locations they see on the screen and go places the stars visited.

Wilmington movie theaters say they are already reaping the benefits.

“We’re definitely expecting a lot of people here tonight,” said Carmike 16 Manager, Alicia Hammitt. “We’ve already sold out of our first four auditoriums. It’s always a good sign when you have a lot of pre-sales. There’s always a lot of people that come up last minute, so we’re expecting a pretty full house.”

Carmike 16 says they have already sold over 800 tickets for the weekend. There are also a fair share of sell outs at the Regal at Mayfaire as well.

“Super excited, just finished the book today, couldn’t put it down,” said Chelsea Atencio. “I just sat down after class and read it all. I was like I have to go to the movies but I don’t want to fight the crowds tonight so we’re going to wait until tomorrow.”

In a press release from the Office of the Governor, Perdue says:

“This is the highest profile movie ever made in our state. As the movie’s characters might say, the odds are in our favor to see North Carolina re-emerge as one of America’s top filming destinations.”

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