Lionsgate, the studio behind The Hunger Games, puts Star Wars in the same category as terrorists in terms of screwing its bottom line. Wait, what?
Yesterday, Lionsgate had a brutal earnings call. Its third quarter profits were nowhere near what investors expected, and it blamed a disappointing performance from the final (and good!) Hunger Games film, Mockingjay Part 2. According to Lionsgate, the movie’s box office of about $650 million “[underperformed] their profit margins by over $100M.”Wall Street reacted terribly to the news, with shares in the studio down over 30 percent.
Lionsgate is responding by upping the amount of cheaper movies it releases in the next year. Oh, and by whining that The Force Awakens and terrorists—ACTUAL TERRORISTS—stole about $100 million from The Hunger Games at the box office. Here’s Rob Friedman, Lionsgate’s co-chairman:
I think the combination of circumstances was unique between the terrorist attack in Europe and Star Wars... hit our numbers by somewhere between $50M and $100M.
The terrorist attack in Paris happened a week after Mockingjay Part 2 premiered in Europe, and a week before the movie was released in America. It seems more than a little ridiculous to complain that the success of Star Wars and, oh, global terrorism stole money from your young adult action movie franchise.
Like, okay, the money-sucking void that is Star Wars is an easy target, but going “If only those bloody terrorists didn’t murder people so our movie would do better, grr!”? That’s either ballsy, stupid, or a damn good mix of both.