With a budget of nearly $100 million, Lionsgate is certainly hoping their investment in The Hunger Games movie will pay off, much as the Harry Potter franchise did for Warner Brothers and the Twilight series did for Summit Entertainment.
Executives at Lionsgate tell the LA Times they’re hoping that The Hunger Games could revamp the studio’s reputation for low-budget movies. After tax credits, Lionsgate spent more than $80 million on The Hunger Games — its most expensive production to date. If all goes well, The Hunger Games could provide a wealth of opportunity for Lionsgate — not just in future films, but in licensing and merchandise, as well.
“Hunger Games is not a make-or-break opportunity for the company,” Joe Drake, president of Lionsgate’s motion picture group, said. “And yet it’s a really important one that we cannot screw up.”
That’s an attitude that should make fans of The Hunger Games feel good about the movie, expected in theaters March 23rd. The fact that the studio wants the movie to do well, means they are being careful to not make any glaring mistakes. part of making a successful adaptation means satisfying the built-in fanbase from the books — so hopefully, Lionsgate is paying attention.
This theory is supported by producer Nina Jacobson, who sold The Hunger Games film rights to Lionsgate.
“With the books growing in popularity, we knew more people would come in with a certain set of expectations,” Jacobson said. “That didn’t change the movie we wanted to make, but it meant we had to deliver on the right scale.”
Industry analyst James Marsh is predicting that the four movies anticipated in The Hunger Games movie could generate upwards of $475 million over six years. (That’s taking into account earlier reports that Lionsgate owned the rights to produce four Hunger Games movie, despite the fact that there are only three books. The studio has been quiet about what that fourth movie might be — whether they produce the third book, Mockingjay, as two movies, much like the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, or if they have something else planned, such as a prequel or spin-off.)
Hunger Games fans, how do you think the movie will fare in theaters? Do you think non-fans will embrace it, as well?
The Hunger Games Examiner: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Tumblr | Subscribe