Jennifer Lawrence was paid $500,000 for her first turn as Katniss Everdeen in the then-unproven 2012 adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ young adult dystopian fantasy, The Hunger Games. For the second installment, the 23-year-old actress from Kentucky was paid $10 million. Not a bad pay raise. And not a bad investment for a film that opened to the tune of $158.1 million in ticket sales last weekend, the biggest opening ever for a November release. On top of that, Box Office Mojo ranked THG:CF's take as the sixth-biggest opening on record, and third all-time among 2D-only movies.
But Lawrence, who won the best actress Academy Award this February for her work in Silver Linings Playbook, isn’t done with 2013 yet. American Hustle, the ensemble piece inspired by the Abscam scandal of the late-'70s/early-'80s and directed by Silver Linings’ David O. Russell, had its first industry screening last weekend in Los Angeles. According to Pete Hammond at deadline.com, the audience – many of them members of the Screen Actors Guild and/or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – came away stoked by the roiling, rollicking tale of power, greed, crime, and an epic FBI sting operation. Here’s Hammond: “Even in this fiercely contested year, Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Editing and Costume nods could be in the cards along with any number of possibilities for its superb ensemble including lead actor Christian Bale, lead actress Amy Adams. supporting actors Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner, and supporting actress Jennifer Lawrence. Especially Lawrence; she is simply dazzling as Bale’s wife, a total knockout scene-stealer throughout. If she hadn’t already won.... Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook, there is no doubt she might be unbeatable here.”
Lawrence, who made the rounds of the talk shows last week, snuggling under a blanket with David Letterman and giving Jon Stewart a hard time, has a few more projects in the works. There’s The Hunger Games Parts 3 and 4, of course, and then there’s the Depression era Serena, with Bradley Cooper again; Bryan Singer’s X-men: Days of Future Past; the Farrelly Brothers Dumb and Dumber To, and a couple of projects she’s attached to with her first Hunger Games’ director, Gary Ross.
American Hustle opens Dec. 18