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'Catching Fire' hot at Cannes despite rain

May 19th, 2013 8:00 am by JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer

'Catching Fire' hot at Cannes despite rain

Actress Jennifer Lawrence poses during a photo call for the film The Hunger Game: Catching Fire at the 66th international film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Saturday. (AP photo)

CANNES, France — Little could lessen the fever-pitched excitement for "Hunger Games: Catching Fire," but heavy rain nevertheless dampened the film's lavish Cannes party.

Stars of the "Hunger Games" sequel, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Sam Clafin, arrived Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival. "Catching Fire," perhaps more than any other film not actually screening at Cannes, is seeking to use the festival's global platform to promote the highly anticipated sequel.

Digital flame billboards have constantly burned by the Majestic Barriere hotel. The cast posed for photographers Saturday. And in the evening, Lionsgate held a lavish soiree beside the beach on the Croisette, complete with flowing liquid chocolate and parading models dressed in the film's ornate costumes.

But a planned stunt at the party to promote the film was scuttled because of the poor weather that has plagued the first five days of the French Riviera festival. Lawrence made an enthusiastic appearance, but later fled, grimacing — like other guests — at the cold raindrops.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" will be released in late November.

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