Movie studio Lionsgate has cast outside PR counsel as it prepares the highly anticipated November release of the sequel to 2012's blockbuster "Hunger Games" film.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the second in a series of four films, will premiere in London on Nov. 11 and be released worldwide Nov. 22.

Hunger Games
Sam Claflin and Jennifer Lawrence in 'Catching Fire'
Photo: Murray Close/Lionsgate
Los Angeles-based Principal Communications Group is handling studio communications  on the domestic side while Freud Communications works the U.K. The firms are not handling publicity for the Hunger Games film, but promote the corporate brand of the studio.

A spokeswoman declined to comment on agencies working on the film's publicity. 

PCG managing partners Paul Pflug, a former SVP of media relations at Universal Pictures, and Melissa Zuckerman, ex-VP of comms. at IFILM, lead seven-year-old PCG.

The first Hunger Games film, released in March 2012, grossed nearly $700M worldwide. The final two films, a two-part series based on the book "Mockingjay," are slated for release in November 2014 and 2015.

The first film's marketing success was hailed for its digital savvy and ability to navigate through the series' dicey topic of children killing other children in a future reality show competition. On its release last March, Lionsgate chief marketing officer Tim Palen told the New York Times: "The beam for this movie is really narrow, and it's a sheer drop to your death on either side."

In an interview with Man of the World magazine this month, Palen said the release of the "Catching Fire" trailer in July was a "pivotal moment" because of the success of the first film and changes at director and other key positions. "So I really needed this first glimpse of the second film to work hard to reassure the fan base that the characters they know and love are back and that the integrity we showed with the first movie is still in tact," he said.