'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' to Launch at Rome Film Fest

UPDATED: The premiere of the sequel will take place 8 days ahead of the U.S. debut.

ROME – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the high-profile follow-up to last year’s The Hunger Games blockbuster, will premiere at the 8th International Rome Film Festival, organizers announced Thursday.

The screening will take place Nov. 14 at the festival’s main Auditorium Parco della Musica venue, just three days after the film’s world premiere in London and nearly a week before it opens in other territories, including the U.S. Following the Rome festival premiere, it will go into wide release in Italy Nov. 27.

PHOTOS: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Character Posters 

It is the second high-profile installment of a blockbuster franchise to use the Rome event as part of its launch: last year, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 premiered in Rome on the same day as its U.S. premiere.

The Hunger Games franchise is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which champions of different districts are forced to fight to the death. 

The new Hunger Games installment, directed by Francis Lawrence, will open out of competition at the Nov. 8-17 festival. Like the original film, it will feature Josh Hutcherson and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence in the lead roles. Festival officials did not say if any of the film's stars will be on hand for the screening.

The announcement about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the latest in a series of announcements about the festival: earlier this week, officials announced that directors James Gray and Larry Clark would head the juries for the main competition and the CinemaXXI section, respectively. And last week, they said Jonathan Demme's latest, Fear of Falling, would have its world premiere at the festival, also out of competition.

Twitter: @EricJLyman