‘Ender’s Game’ Tracking for $27 Million Opening; Will Franchise Continue?

Enders Game Box Office Tracking

Lionsgate/Summit remains optimistic as sci-fi adventure looks to build momentum

Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” may be one of the most beloved young adult novels of the 20th century, but does that assure financial success for Hollywood’s bigscreen adaptation?

Not necessarily.

The $110 million-budgeted movie, starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford, is currently tracking for a so-so $27 million debut and likely won’t hit $100 million in domestic ticket sales. Some observers have the opening in the $30 million-$32 million range with the movie’s potential U.S. cume at somewhat lower than “Oblivion” ($89 million) and “Pacific Rim” ($101 million).

With two weeks until release there’s still plenty of upside to build momentum for the sci-fi adventure but one distribution exec said Monday that he “doubts its franchise capability.”

Still, word of mouth on the Gavin Hood-directed film has been decent (“It’s surprisingly solid,” one source says), while an overseas boost for the sci-fi movie could keep the “Ender’s Game” franchise alive for further installments. There are 12 novels in the “Ender’s Game” series as well as short stories and comics.

Described as “Harry Potter meets Star Wars” in the fanboy universe, “Ender’s Game” is about a boy who is given the responsibility to lead the world’s military against an alien invasion. Pic co-stars Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) and Ben Kingsley.

Lionsgate/Summit is mounting a respectable marketing campaign thus far in the U.S., where the movie opens Nov. 1 and faces a few B.O. titans before Thanksgiving like Marvel’s “Thor” sequel (Nov. 8) and “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Nov. 22).

“It has to be big enough to capture the scope of the book… but also be a tent pole that is financially responsible,” producer Roberto Orci recently said in an interview.

As for how responsible remains to be seen.

The OddLot Entertainment-backed picture begins its international rollout this Friday in the U.K.

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  1. T. Man says:

    So what? US ain’t the center of the world. In many cases, foreign box office more than made up for the domestic shortfall, like “Pacific Rim” for example. It’s foolish to pronounce a film a failure without looking at the TOTAL box office results (domestic+international).

  2. Larry says:

    Remember when film grosses were announced AFTER films were released? Stop counting your chickens, chickens.

  3. thomas says:

    I’m conflicted right now about whether to see Ender’s Game; I respect it for being of the science-fiction genre; I feel acquainted with it, because, like my own book, ‘The Representative’, it’s concerned with those sort of ultimate sci-fi themes, (though mine strictly speaking would be better classified as a just fantasy space tale); it appears to be different; and, also…..it’s based on apparently well-loved classic literature.

    My heart is toward Thor: The Dark World; kind of my head – as the cliché goes – is toward this.

    Here’s an idea: how about then, indeed if, Ender’s Game does do well, at the box office? In then my opinion…….think that success as reason to endeavour with other such even more well-loved science-fiction classics. Think Foundation, by Isaac Asimov. Think Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C Clarke. Or a Simak story, also popular but likewise never before adapted, or perhaps something more unknown, like the Tom Godwin short story titled ‘The Greater Thing’ – arguably one of the best sci-fi stories I’ve ever come across.

    So what about it?

  4. Mark says:

    The Ender’s Game series really can’t be made into a tentpole franchise, in my opinion.. Perhaps, PERHAPS, the Ender’s Shadow series could be, but that’s also doubtful. The sequels/companion novels to Ender’s Game are much more philosophical/drama-based sci-fi novels, and hardly any “action sequence material” occur in them.

  5. wolf says:

    This story has a depth that will be beyond most run of the mill move goers. I doubt this moive will spin more from the series out.

  6. Sandra says:

    I am not happy with the “Harry Potter Meets Star Wars’ comparison… Ender’s Game and it’s companion novels and publications are at a much higher level of literature than the Harry Potter novels and the Star Wars series, in MY PERSONAL OPINION… There are a lot more moral and thematic issues present in Ender’s Game… But I am still VERY disturbed by the Harry Potter Meets Star Wars comparison.

  7. Because of Orson Scott Card’s deep-seated homophobia and general irrationality, I won’t be going to see this movie in theaters and won’t be renting it afterward either. No Card. Ever.

  8. Robert W. Getz says:

    It’s a shame the crackpot Republicans just flushed 24 billion dollars down the toilet. I’m sure Ted Cruz would have been happy to direct some of it towards a fellow Obama-obsessed, paranoid-delusional crackpot.

  9. jedmerrill says:

    Looking forward to this film more than any other in 2013! Can’t wait!

  10. If the movie is anywhere as good as any of the books it will be a smash.

    • Questioner says:

      That is incredibly presumptuous. If it’s good, I could see a possible increase, but even then it likely won’t be a “smash”. From the trailers, I am doubtful of its quality.

  11. Paul Lane says:

    Too bad OS Card is a crackpot. The game will be how to keep him from giving interviews.

  12. Ellen Steeves says:

    Is any book with a child as the protagonist now to be referred to as a YA book? I’ve only ever see it shelved in the SF section. I wouldn’t hand it to a 10 year old to read.

  13. Jareth the Goblin King says:

    Too bad Ender wasn’t made in the 1980’s and didn’t have Matthew Broderick or some cheap and ez Ewok clones! I’m for B’Ginners game a story has to start somewhere? How will it end, when it’s just Ender’s beginning? Don’t expect soft openings for Der’s Game, it has a big fan base of people who have read the books, and it’s got Harrison Ford, and many other famous people! Anything is better than seeing old movies like Labyrinth… with crude humor and crude language mixed with crude violence and crude stereotyping crudely and lewdly…

  14. Harry Potter meets Star Wars is possibly the WORST description there could be for the story.

    It has been saddled with a very poor release date. n key markets the film will have a week, or less, before Thor: The Dark World arrives and blows it out of the water.

    Ender’s Game is the book I have most wanted to see turned into a film for over 20 years; It is a shame that they have cast so well, and possibly made a very good film. only for it to get buried by some abysmal scheduling. Tracking has been worthless this year, but even so, if the films is relying on international to be a success (and most ‘big’ films are these days, then coming out against Thor, which was already more popular outside North America than in (even out-grossing Iron Man there) is madness.

    Also, there may be several books set in the Ender-Universe, but I wouldn’t say they were sequel material at all. The books that follow Bean are closest to that, but as well as no including Ender, they are quite different to the “wargames” story. As for the others, well no spoilers, but they are a very different kettle of fish indeed.

  15. Andy Myers says:

    IPeople talking about the possibilities for a franchise around the film must not have read the books. There is simply no way to adapt any of the other books (except Ender’s Shadow) in a way that would appeal to the same audience and be marketable as a film. Ender’s Shadow isn’t doable, because it takes place at the same time as a parallel story, and the actors will have already aged too much. This was never a franchise-able property.

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