Let the games begin: Fans of “The Hunger Games” are counting down the days until the film’s March 23 release. The film’s world premiere took place Monday in Los Angeles, and stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson walked the red carpet. Celebritology reports:

At the center of the chaos is Jennifer Lawrence, who plays heroine Katniss Everdeen. The Oscar nominated actress told Access Hollywood her first thought after getting out of the car at the premiere was, “Why is there so much screaming? I thought Tom Cruise or Oprah was there.”

Dressed in a dramatic, shiny gold gown, she asked MTV’s Josh Horowitz, “Was everybody disappointed that I wasn't set on fire? God, that was a high, high bar to set. 'Oh, darn it, she didn't set herself on fire.’”(Katniss wears a dress that appears to be on fire in the book.)

Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta, told Access Hollywood it was “very exciting” to be at the premiere finally. But he added that the thought of his face projected on a big screen in front of thousands of people was “mildly terrifying.”

Fans camped out for a glimpse of the stars of the film, and some of them won tickets to the screening. The AP reports:

“I thought it was amazing,” said Ruzena Zatko, 28, a fan of “The Hunger Games” books who drove from Las Vegas and spent two nights’ camped out in front of the Nokia Theatre to win passes to the premiere. “He stayed true to the book.”

Fans Ariel Pemberton and Amanda Shultz loved the book so much they doubted the film could match it, but they came away impressed with its look and feel.

Pemberton said it was “way more emotional” than the book, while Shultz enjoyed seeing Collins’ post-apocalyptic world come to life: “We all had different ideas what it looked like, so to see it was so cool.”

The fans aren’t the only ones who love the film. Celebritology reports that Suzanne Collins, the author of the trilogy of novels, praised the movie in an open letter:

“Director Gary Ross has created an adaptation that is faithful in both narrative and theme, but he’s also brought a rich and powerful vision of Panem, its brutality and excesses, to the film as well. His world building’s fantastic, whether it be the Seam or the Capitol. It’s amazing to see things that are suggested in the book fully developed and so brilliantly realized through the artistry of the designers.

And, my God, the actors. The cast, led by the extraordinary Jennifer Lawrence, is absolutely wonderful across the board. It’s such a pleasure to see how they’ve embodied the characters and brought them to life,” wrote Collins.

A series of leaked clips and images have kept fans eager for the film’s debut. Celebritology has been tracking the leaks, from clips of hairstylist Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz, or Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, practicing archery. Songs by Arcade Fire and Taylor Swift have also made the rounds on fan blogs.