THE HUNGER GAMES is Lions Gate’s most expensive production… ever
Lions Gate hasn’t had a great few weeks. Warrior opened to $5.2 million last weekend, despite heavy promotion and a ton of preview screenings. Worse though was the $90 million remake of Conan the Barbarian, which barely cracked the $20 million mark at the domestic box office—and it’s been in theaters since Aug. 19.
It’s no surprise that Lions Gate’s future may ride on the success of The Hunger Games franchise. And the studio, which has its cash cows like Tyler Perry comedies and the Saw franchise, is going big with the production. The first adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s trilogy will reported cost $100 million ($80 million with tax credits)… the most expensive in the studio’s history.
Lions Gate (and its investors) is hoping for Twilight-like success. Rival studio Summit Entertainment has built their company around the blockbuster franchise. But you have to remember, the Twilight Saga pictures have relatively small budget, starting at $37 million and maxing out at $68 million. The Hunger Games isn’t going to get any cheaper as the franchise moves forward. If The Hunger Games is where Lions Gate is staking its future in the movie business, the film will have to be an even bigger hit than Twilight.