The prevailing sentiment regarding the film industry is that there’s an absense of fresh, original ideas. It appears that Lionsgate CEO, Jon Feltheimer, will only further that sentiment as he’s looking to return to two familiar franchises.
Jon Feltheimer discussed the possibility of returning to the Hunger Games and Twilight franchises during a quarterly earnings call with analysts on Tuesday. He discussed the possibility of attempting spin-off films in those universes. That way, the films could possibly feel fresh but still have the name recognition of each of those franchises. Feltheimer exclaimed that “there are a lot more stories to be told, and we’re ready to tell them when our creators are ready to tell those stories.”
That remark refers to both Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins, the authors of the Twilight series and Hunger Games series. Before Lionsgate would move forward on such projects, they would need the two authors to sign-off on the idea as the two were heavily entrenched in the adaptations of their properties to the big screen.
What It Means
There was undoubtedly a collective eye roll once people heard this news. However, both of these franchises were integral in the growth of Lionsgate. These films turned the company into a player among the other giant studios in Hollywood. The Hunger Games franchise netted Lionsgate almost $3 billion at the box office while the Twilight franchise racked up over $1.3 billion. Lionsgate would not be the company they are today without these two franchises as they allowed them to finance countless more projects.
Lately, Lionsgate has been struggling to find another consistent money maker. Although they’ve distributed critical successes like Patriots Day or The Big Sick, the company hasn’t managed to find its next tentpole franchise that it can count on to strike it big at the box office. It appears that Lionsgate will distribute the upcoming Hellboy reboot, but even the original Hellboy films struggles to make good money while in theaters.
Is it a good idea from a creative standpoint to return to these franchises? Probably not. But is it a good idea from a financial standpoint? Maybe. For this plan to work, Lionsgate would need to get some serious talent involved in both of these franchises (both in front of and behind the camera) to get fans intrigued. If not, they might have a whole other problem on their hands.
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*Report via Variety