Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, already has a release date set for November 22, 2013, but in a recent interview Lionsgate executives Jon Feltheimer and Michael Burns said it would only be moving forward if The Hunger Games makes a certain amount at the box office.
“The Hunger Games” must hit $100 million in domestic box office sales to justify making sequels. “I’m not too concerned we won’t get to that kind of number,” the studio head says.
“We would be disappointed if we didn’t make three or four movies,” Feltheimer says.
Why such emphasis on US sales? The article reveals that Lionsgate has already sold “the international distribution rights, except for the U.K., to other studios” and has already made $50 million by doing so. New Line did the same with The Golden Compass and it proved disastrous. The movie made over $300 million overseas, but only made $70 million in the US, less than half of the budget.
The Hunger Games is said to cost $80 million with another $40 million set aside for marketing, so the stakes aren’t as high as The Golden Compass, but with Conan, Warrior and Taylor Lautner’s action thriller Abduction under-performing over recent months the pressure is on The Hunger Games to perform.
Hoping to grab the Twilight audience, Lionsgate will be attaching the new theatrical trailer to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 which opens November 18th. The teaser is below:
The Hunger Games chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death live televised event.
Katniss Everdeen’s little sister is chosen in the lottery to participate and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place. Although persevering through hardship is commonplace for Katniss, she must start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home.