In 2011, he landed the leading role of Peeta Mellark in the box office record-setting film series The Hunger Games, released annually from 2012 to 2015, for which he won three MTV Movie Awards and a People's Choice Award.
During the same period he also played a lead role in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and a voice role in the animated film Epic (2013).
Daly was impressed with the young Hutcherson, remarking, "He's an exceptional kid.
He attended New Haven Elementary School in Union until he began his career at the age of nine, after which he began homeschooling, with his mother as his teacher.
He later said of his schooling experiences, "I know it's something kids have to deal with every single day but getting up at the same time every day and having to listen to teachers talk about things I could learn so much more easily on my own, I hated it." playing Falk's grandson who accompanies him on a turbulent road trip.
Paietta describes his character of Jesse Aarons as "an introverted boy with four sisters, a financially strapped family, and a real talent for drawing" whose life is turned around when Leslie Burke (Anna Sophia Robb) arrives, with whom he creates an imaginary utopian world.
Hutcherson's next role was in Firehouse Dog (2007), in which he played Shane Fahey, a firefighter's son who befriends a dog.
His first film role was in Miracle Dogs (2003) on Animal Planet, followed by a motion-capture performance in The Polar Express (2004) and a voice-acting role in Howl's Moving Castle (2005).
Hutcherson's other early film appearances include Little Manhattan, Zathura: A Space Adventure (both 2005), RV (2006), Bridge to Terabithia (2007), Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), and The Kids Are All Right (2010).
His father said that his son was compelled to perform for people from a very young age, possessing a personality that attracted people's attention.
His mother said that he "bugged us so much" into becoming an actor, Luke advised them to go to Los Angeles and begin auditioning Hutcherson for TV pilots.
Hutcherson received the MTV Movie Award for "Best Male Performance".
His role in The Forger was as a 15-year-old orphan who finds himself in trouble until Alfred Molina's character comes to his aid.
Later in 2012, he appeared in Red Dawn, a remake of the 1984 film of the same name.