Lionsgate Chief Says ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Twilight’ Have ‘More Stories to Tell’

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Image courtesy of Lionsgate

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer hinted to Wall Street that the studio isn’t ready to roll the credits on its “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” franchises. He implied, however, that the company will only go forward with fresh installments or spinoffs in the blockbuster series if they get the sign off from “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer and “Hunger Games” creator Suzanne Collins.

“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,” Feltheimer said during a quarterly earnings call with analysts on Tuesday.

The Lionsgate chief didn’t just consign himself to predictions about the future of Katniss Everdeen and Edward Cullen. He also expressed optimism about the prospects for a grand bargain between studios and theater owners that will enable movies to hit home entertainment platforms weeks or even months earlier. All that’s needed, he said, would be for all the parties to “get in a room together.”

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“If it were possible for us all to get in a room together and have exhibitors and studios and digital distributors all get in a room together, I’ve seen enough research to really believe that it’s really something that would be good for everybody,” said Feltheimer.

That kind of a meeting could be difficult to pull off. So far, studios and exhibitors have had to negotiate on an individual basis because they are worried that any kind of industry-wide negotiations will run afoul of anti-trust laws. The Lionsgate chief acknowledged as much, stating that such a confab would only take place “if the Department of Justice allows.”

There’s a lot riding on these talks. Studios believe that offering films in the home early will enable them to capture consumers who might have young children, but who still want to see new releases. They’re so convinced it will grow revenues that they’re willing to cut theater owners in on the profits. Despite the inducements, theater owners are concerned that they will be cannibalizing their business by giving audiences an incentive to skip the cinema in favor of waiting a few weeks to see movies on demand.

Last week, Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC Entertainment, said he did not expect a deal will be reached this year. Despite the protestations of the head of the world’s largest theater chain, Feltheimer predicted that there will be tests of a new on-demand model in the next 12 months.

“I think that will happen,” he said. “I think it would be great for the business.”

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  1. Shelly says:

    Mr. Feltheimer may be my best friend in the world right now. x) Firstly, I agree with him that allowing for home viewing of new releases would be great for the industry. Second…well, all right, I personally couldn’t care less about Twilight. If Meyer wants to go ahead with more of that, it’s fine; somehow it does take in a ton of money. But The Hunger Games is another story. I’ve been, no pun intended, hungering for more of that story since 2015. I’m glad that we’re still only speaking generally of further installments and spinoffs WHEN the creators are ready for them, because I certainly want the material to come from or be thoroughly discussed with and approved by Collins. There are prequel possibilities…previous Games, especially those of the other victors we know best (Haymitch, Finnick, Johanna); the original rebellion and war/Dark Days that resulted in the establishment of the Games; Snow’s and Coin’s rises to power.

    I would much prefer a sequel(s), because going into the future always allows for flashbacks and explanations of the past while also not being trapped there. I’m most interested in postrevolutionary Panem, and the lives of the surviving characters (Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Effie, Johanna, Annie & Finnick’s son, Gale, etc.) and their children. Should there not seem to be enough potential for conflict in all of that, there’s always these things to consider: remaining Snow and Coin loyalists or similar people who aren’t happy with the new world and the way President Paylor runs the country…plus the rest of the world outside North America, and the potential friends and enemies that could be out there as Panem begins to fully reconnect and reintegrate into whatever global community still exists at that point. It would definitely be well worth (eventually) expanding upon and adding further depth, detail, dimension, and development to THG!

  2. Phillip Ayling says:

    Box office is down and Lionsgate Exec thinks we can’t wait for more sequels and reboots.

    • JJ says:

      Why not?
      Sequels and Reboots are the only things doing well (usually in the form of superhero movies,.) For a society who says “enough of the sequels,” people have a strange way of showing it. Which is why most original concept movies are failing at the box office…

      • Shelly says:

        PRECISELY, JJ.

        Besides…you see so many comments saying “I want more original content.” That’s not what the numbers say. And “original” doesn’t mean “good.” Franchises/series are not inherently bad. They were “original” before their sequels/prequels/spin-offs were made. When you actually hit upon something great, it’s only natural to want more of it–elaborate, expand, explore, develop further, answer questions, delve into details, deepen the world. It’s easier to be engrossed in and attached to something that’s got a lot to it, than something that’s just a little one-off. What counts as “original” anymore, anyhow?! There truly is nothing new under the sun. Everything is really just a version of something else. I’m all for simply watching quality originals over wasting time on pointless “reboots” that exist solely for profit. However, certain things not only deserve but demand (careful) continuation.

  3. When arrogant studio execs attempt to pander in such a way that it declares the audience are stupid cattle it always backfires for some reason.

  4. Uh-Oh, no original ideas. Tell Wall Street (the money) studio will go with built-in audience, giving them more of the same. A close system where fresh ideas cannot breathe….

  5. ENDER_EINSTEIN says:

    They should make a movie of when Haymitch fought in the second quarter quell.

  6. Julie E says:

    Nitwits studio executives with MBAs who know nothing about what the movie audience wants to see or can relate with. So they just bang out sequels.

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