×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lionsgate Stock Jumps Again, But What’s the Outlook for ‘Ender’s Game’?

Analyst says blockbuster success is a longshot

Shares of Lionsgate have jumped to another all-time high despite an analyst sounding a rare note of caution about one of upcoming sci-fi pic “Ender’s Game.”

The stock rose 3.17%, up 89 cents to $28.95 in trading Tuesday following a price target upgrade from Matthew Harrigan of Wunderlich Securities from $28 to $34 and Doug Creutz of Cowen & Co. increasing his quarterly earnings estimate to 47 cents a share from 37 cents for the fourth quarter ended March 31. It was the latest in a string of Wall Street upgrades fueled by confidence that Lionsgate can replicate the success of the first “The Hunger Games” movie and the “Twilight” franchise.

Creutz also noted that Lionsgate has two potential franchise starters launching in the current fiscal year which could add “meaningful” multi-year earnings power: “Divergent,” launching March 21, and “Ender’s Game,” opening Nov. 1 starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford. A cult favorite among teen boys and young men since its publication in 1985, it’s been described as “Star Wars meets Harry Potter.”

“While the book on which the film is based is a classic of the genre, we think the film remains a bit of a longshot to achieve breakout success (which we would define as a domestic box office in excess of $125 million) due to some potentially challenging subject matter,” he added.

Popular on Variety

Creutz did not elaborate, but in the original novel by Orson Scott Card, the lead character is manipulated as a child into unknowingly committing genocide against an entire sentient species.

Harrigan said in his report that “Ender’s Game” has “distinct fanboy and likely general audience appeal” with Lionsgate possibly responsible for 10% to 15% of the production cost. He also noted Lionsgate has rights to all 12 of Card’s “Ender’s Game” series, adding that not all of them are readily adaptable for film.

The stock has doubled in price this year and more than tripled its $8.60 price when Lionsgate acquired Summit for $412.5 million in January, 2012. Lionsgate announced at Cannes last week that it had generated $250 million in foreign sales at the market for nine upcoming titles, including the final two movies in the “Hunger Games” franchise.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” opens Nov. 22. Lionsgate is set to release its quarterly earnings report after the market closes on Thursday.

More Film

  • John Boyega

    John Boyega Apologizes for 'Badly Worded' Comments He Made in Variety Interview

    John Boyega has apologized for comments made to Variety that some readers construed as an attack on his “Star Wars” co-star Kelly Marie Tran. Boyega took to Twitter on Thursday to clarify his remarks to Variety’s Adam B. Vary that social media was a tough environment “for those who are not mentally strong” and that [...]

  • Lee Joon-dong (left)

    Jeonju Festival Appoints 'Burning' Producer Lee Joon-dong as Director

    The Jeonju International Film Festival has appointed leading art-house producer Lee Joon-dong (“Burning”) as its director. The festival is usually regarded as the second most significant in South Korea, behind Busan. The appointment was announced on Wednesday by Kim Seung-su, chairman of the festival’s organizing committee. It follows several months of internal discord and the [...]

  • Warner Bros. Pictures trailer launch event

    Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jon M. Chu Tease 'In the Heights' Movie

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Jon M. Chu and star Anthony Ramos took the train to the top of the world to offer a sneak peek of “In the Heights,” Warner Bros.’ big-screen adaptation of Miranda’s (other) hit musical. “I’m thrilled we’re here, and I’m thrilled we’re uptown,” Miranda rhapsodized to a packed crowd at a cozy [...]

  • One for the Road

    Wong Kar-wai to Produce 'Bad Genius' Director’s 'One For The Road'

    Wong Kar-wai is producing “One For The Road,” a new film that reunites the director and star of 2017 Thai hit “Bad Genius.” Production in New York and Thailand will begin by the end of the year. The film is a buddy drama and a road movie that sees two old friends who have been [...]

  • Jesse Eisenberg

    Film News Roundup: Jesse Eisenberg to Star in Indie Thriller 'Wild Indian' (EXCLUSIVE)

    In today’s film news roundup, Jesse Eisenberg is starring and exec producing “Wild Indian”; Jason Bateman is directing “Shut In”; “Saturday Night Live” veteran Paula Pell is honored; and the Palm Springs Film Festival sets its opening and closing films. CASTING Jesse Eisenberg is starring in and executive producing the independent thriller “Wild Indian,” Variety [...]

  • disney d23

    Top 19 Media Trends of 2019: Disney's Box Office Dominance

    The domestic box office market share over the last 12 years provides a sobering reminder of how important franchises are to studio performance, especially for Disney. Although the 2019 box office looks to be falling short of the previous year’s total, Disney is ending the decade on the highest possible note, becoming the first studio ever [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content