It’s one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year and comes from the best selling books its not surprising that The Hunger Games is set to provide a major tourism increase in North Carolina.
The movie, which took $155m (£98m) in its opening weekend in the US, focues on a post-apocalyptic world where teenagers are forced to fight to the death which was filmed entirely on the American State.
This is the first book from the trilogy to be made into a film, the books written by Suzanne Collins’ were brought to life in North Carolina.
Asheville forest became the backdrop for much of the film, and locations such as an abandoned town and the city of Charlotte have also been used in the filming.
The abandoned Henry River Mill Village near Hildebran was the setting for the hometown of the main characters, named District 12. Many buildings remain is this deserted town, but the mill burned town in 1977 – the property’s 83-year-old owner as received lots of attention since the filming began.
Mr Shepherd told Associated Press: ‘I’m getting too many visitors. Day and night, they’re driving through, taking pictures, getting out and walking. I’m just bombarded with people.’
The local tourism industry has been quick to jump on the movies success, offering special hotel packages, guided tours and tutorials in survival.
The state’s official tourism website has created a four-day self-guided tour for fans, which includes visits to Charlotte, Hildebran, DuPont State Recreational Forest and Shelby.
A company solely created to offer tours for fans has also popped up, Hunger Games Fan Tours, offering day and weekend long trips based around the movie.
The end of the weekend experience sees tourists take part in an enactment of the Hunger Games, however the games see participants receive prizes at the end rather than being killed.