The Hunger Games is Lions Gate's most expensive movie- ever

Lions Gate is putting a lot of stake in their upcoming adaptation of Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games". 

The independent studio has been hurting for the last four years, with investors seeing their stock drop a shocking 45%. THE HUNGER GAMES represents their best chance to turn things around, as the hugely popular book trilogy has the name recognition and the scifi setting that seems perfect for a tentpole film.

“We would be disappointed if we didn’t make three or four movies,” Lions Gate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer told Bloomberg.

But at $80 million, it's a big risk for the independant studio who doesn't have anything else but its films to fall back on. 

"All the major studios are subsumed within multinational media conglomerates, so even the phenomenal results of a HARRY POTTER are unlikely to move the stock of Time Warner,” says David Molner, the founder of Screen Capital International Ltd., a Beverly Hills, California-based firm that financed Oliver Stone’s “W.” “Lions Gate doesn’t have a lot of places to hide its results.”

For years Lions Gate has been trying to get their own huge franchise in an industry dominated by the big guys but they haven't been successful yet- just look at CONAN THE BARBARIAN. 

To justify a sequel, Feltheimer says that the first film will have to gross over $100 million domestically, something that he's fairly certain won't be a problem, though every caution is being given after an uncertain year and the significant under-performance of the studio's other planned franchise debut, CONAN THE BARBARIAN.

Besides the $80 million budget the company is expected to invest another $40 million in promotion between now and its release on March 23rd, 2012. They've certainly got a ton of posters already, focusing on the districts and characters.

What do you folks think- will this be the breakout film the studio needs?

Source: Bloomberg



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