The Wall Street Journal has a lengthy profile on Lionsgate and their hopes for The Hunger Games, and a couple interesting tidbits were revealed.
Most interesting is that market research currently indicates the film is on track to outperform Twilight’s opening domestic weekend.
For Lions Gate, failure isn’t an option. “It can’t underperform; we can’t let that happen,” said Joe Drake, Lions Gate’s co-chief operating officer, who has shepherded the development of the franchise.
“One of the big objectives and goals of this campaign, something we worked on every step of the way, was selling books,” Mr. Drake said. “Because if you’re selling books, you’re selling movie tickets.” As part of National Literacy Month last year, Lions Gate helped sponsor an online giveaway of the first two chapters from “The Hunger Games.”
Early market research indicates the new film is likely to exceed the box-office results of the first “Twilight” film, according to a person familiar with the matter. That movie, released in 2008, grossed $69.6 million its opening weekend and went on to earn nearly $400 million world-wide.
Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer Joe Drake also revealed that the male audience is growing rapidly:
“When we acquired the property, it was a young-adult novel, and since then it has clearly expanded its base into a four-quadrant picture,” Mr. Drake said, using Hollywood marketing-speak to refer to males and females, young and old.
Lions Gate has licensed “Hunger Games” lunchboxes, a replica bow modeled on one used in the film and at least 160 other toys, games and other memorabilia.
“Unlike ‘Twilight,’ this franchise is skewing more and more male every week in terms of Nook and Amazon sales,” said Joel Weinshanker, chief executive of National Entertainment Collectibles Association Inc., the company manufacturing the “Hunger Games” memorabilia. “The male buyers have really ratcheted up.”
Read more on the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
A couple weeks ago I wrote about how The Hunger Games appears to be on track to be as successful of a fandom as Harry Potter and Twilight. Do you agree, especially with this new information in mind?
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