Lionsgate Announces Big Plans for the ‘Hunger Games’ Franchise
The film studio Lionsgate released its fourth-quarter earnings results on Friday and announced plans to further capitalize on the highly successful Hunger Games franchise that involve a Hunger Games theme park, a museum exhibit, and a mobile game.
Lionsgate announced during its earnings call that it would partner with mobile game maker Kabam to create “an exclusive role playing, card collection mobile game that will deliver the action of the blockbuster film into the hands of avid fans around the world,” according to a press release from the companies. “In the game, players assume the identity of District members sent on a mission in order to build their alliance, liberate their District, and rebuild Panem.”
The company is also planning a touring exhibit about the movies titled “The Hunger Games: The Exhibition” that will travel around the U.S. next summer. Lionsgate will work with Thinkwell Group on the project, which will feature interactive digital displays as well as costumes and other items from the films.
More excitingly, Lionsgate announced that it hired Thinkwell executive Jenefer Brown and gave her the newly created position of Senior Vice President of Branded Attractions. The museum exhibit will be Brown’s first major project, but Lionsgate said she “will not only oversee the launch of the U.S. tour of the Hunger Games exhibition but will explore additional theme park attraction and other location-based entertainment opportunities around the world for the Hunger Games franchise and the company’s entire portfolio of branded properties.” A theme park would be a lucrative opportunity; something fans of the books would likely be very excited to experience.
“Now that we’ve built a critical mass of intellectual property, we’re committed to extending our brands into exciting new businesses that create opportunities for our fans to engage with our properties at the same time they deliver significant incremental financial benefits to Lionsgate,” said Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen.
Lionsgate’s earnings missed estimates and the company’s stock slipped as investors wonder what the future holds for the company after the earning potential of its powerhouse franchise runs dry. The company pointed to its Hunger Games successor, the Divergent franchise, as another potential big earner. Divergent did well at the box office when it was released this spring, but suffered a bit from lackluster reviews that criticized the film for being too similar to the Hunger Games.
The studio does still have some successful television series under its belt, though, including Orange Is the New Black, Mad Men, and Nashville. Plus, the final two Hunger Games films are still on the horizon and they could beat the box office records set by the previous installments. The first two films have made a combined $1.5 billion worldwide and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is currently the tenth highest grossing film domestically. If the studio could parlay the Hunger Games into a franchise along the lines of Harry Potter, which has its own theme park, it could have almost unlimited earning potential even after the movies are completed.
The next installment in the Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, will come out November 21. Part 2 is set to be released a year later.
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