×

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

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.”

“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.”

More Film

  • Crawl Movie

    'Crawl' and Other Disaster Movies Pose Unique Obstacles for Production Designers

    The rampaging fires, earthquakes and storms of disaster movies present unusual challenges for a production: On top of the normal work of creating a film’s lived-in and realistic locations, designers must build sets that the forces of nature can batter, flood and ravage into something completely different. Take “Crawl,” in which a Category 5 hurricane [...]

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Tops $130 Million Overseas

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has roared past $130 million in international ticket sales ahead of its domestic debut, led by $76.6 million in its first week in China. Other markets began launching Wednesday, led by France with $8.3 million in its first two days with the second-biggest opening day for a Disney movie after “Avengers: [...]

  • The Lion King The Gift

    Album Review: Beyoncé’s 'The Lion King: The Gift'

    Before touching down on what Beyoncé has called her “love letter to Africa,” it’s important to see what may have brought her to the mother of mankind, with its wide vistas and sonic planes, for “The Gift” in the first place — beyond, of course, voicing Nala in the film and whatever international marketing tie-ins [...]

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Roars to $23 Million Opening on Thursday Night

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has pounced on a mighty $23 million in North American locations in Thursday night preview showings. It’s the biggest preview number since Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” set the record on April 27 with $60 million. “The Lion King” is expected to debut with $150 million this weekend. Some forecasts estimate the tentpole [...]

  • Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour

    Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour Studios, Home of ‘Krypton’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland, where the Syfy series “Krypton” is shot, is set for a major expansion. The Warner Horizon-produced series has occupied the full site, which currently has two stages, since it opened in 2017. The landowners had signaled that they wanted to expand, and Variety has learned that plans for the [...]

  • Disney Movies

    Why Audiences Are Only Going to Disney Movies

    Julie Bikhman of Manhattan might buy the tickets, but when it comes to deciding what movie to see, her three young children are the ones calling the shots. “We pick them,” her 11-year-old daughter Annie declares before heading into a screening of Disney’s live-action “The Lion King.” “If it’s a Marvel movie, we know it’s [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Rob Schneider Running for SAG-AFTRA Board, Supporting Matthew Modine

    Rob Schneider is running for a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate and as a representative of the union’s San Francisco branch. Schneider is a former cast member on “Saturday Night Live” with movie credits on “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick,” “The Benchwarmers,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content