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How to Watch the 'Hunger Games' Prequel Movie at Home

You can rent the The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes or wait until its debut on Starz.

Meara Isenberg Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
4 min read
See at Starz
STARZ streaming app
Will carry The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
See at Expressvpn
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Best VPN for streaming

Want to stream The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes? The odds are ever in your favor.

In a week, the Hunger Games prequel will be available on the Starz streaming service. The film, based on Suzanne Collins' 2020 book of the same name, follows 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), who's not yet the tyrannical president seen in past films but rather "the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol," according to an official synopsis. Young Snow must mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from District 12. The movie depicts the 10th annual Hunger Games -- Katniss Everdeen, for reference, volunteered for the 74th. 

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will arrive on Starz roughly six months after its debut in theaters, where it earned more than $330 million at the worldwide box office. The film also stars Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, Jason Schwartzman and Viola Davis. Here's when you can stream the dystopian tale on the Starz app and how a VPN could potentially enhance the experience.


The Ballad Songbirds & Snakes hit theaters back in November.

Murray Close/Lionsgate

When you can watch The Hunger Games prequel on Starz

Viewers in the US can access The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes on Starz on May 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET (May 13 at 9:01 p.m. PT).

The ad-free streaming service costs $10 per month. If you can't wait to see what happens at the 10th Hunger Games, you can also rent The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes digitally from services like Amazon and Fandango at Home (formerly Vudu) for $6.

Netflix is streaming the four prior Hunger Games films: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay - Part 1 and Mockingjay - Part 2.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Starz catalog includes original series like Outlander, P-Valley and Party Down. Lionsgate films like John Wick: Chapter 4, Expend4bles and the new Hunger Games are also in the mix. The streamer currently has a deal for new subscribers that makes the first month $5 instead of $10.

How to watch the Hunger Games prequel from anywhere with a VPN

Perhaps you're traveling abroad and want to stream Starz while away from home. With a VPN, you're able to virtually change your location on your phone, tablet or laptop to get access to the movie from anywhere in the world. There are other good reasons to use a VPN for streaming too.

A VPN is the best way to stop your ISP from throttling your speeds by encrypting your traffic. Using a VPN is also a great idea if you're traveling and find yourself connected to a Wi-Fi network, and you want to add an extra layer of privacy for your devices and logins. Streaming TV can be a bit smoother with a reliable, quality VPN that's passed our tests and security standards.

You can use a VPN to stream content legally as long as VPNs are allowed in your country and you have a valid subscription to the streaming service you're using. The US and Canada are among the countries where VPNs are legal, but we advise against streaming or downloading content on illegal torrent sites. We recommend ExpressVPN, but you may opt for another provider from our best list, such as Surfshark or NordVPN. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're looking for a secure and dependable VPN, our Editors' Choice is ExpressVPN. It's fast, works on multiple devices, and provides stable streams. It's normally $13 per month, but it currently costs less overall to go for a 12-month subscription, where each month shakes out to $8.32.

ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our review of ExpressVPN.

Follow the VPN provider's instructions for installation and choose a country where The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will be streaming on Starz. Before you open the streaming app, make sure you are connected to your VPN using your selected region. If you want to stream the Hunger Games prequel on more than one device, it's possible you'll need to configure each one to ensure you are signed in. Go to settings and check your network connections to verify you're logged in and connected to your VPN account. Now you're ready to open Starz to stream. 

If you run into issues with streaming, first make sure your VPN is up and running on its encrypted IP address. Double-check that you've followed installation instructions correctly and you've picked the right geographical area for viewing. If you still encounter connection problems, you may need to reboot your device. Close all apps and windows, restart your device and connect to your VPN first. Note that some streaming services have restrictions on VPN access.