Industry analysts say decent but not dominant start means momentum for Harrison Ford space thriller is not sufficient for second film
A relatively weak $28m box office opening in the US this weekend means controversial science fiction adaptation Ender’s Game is unlikely to get a sequel, according to industry experts.
The Hollywood Reporter compiled the views of a number of analysts whose job it is to review the franchise potential of blockbuster wannabes. Most felt Gavin Hood’s film, which has been targeted by gay rights activists, would struggle to make back its $110m budget after debuting with a solid but unspectacular $28m in North America.
That figure was enough to put the movie, which stars Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin, in first place in the US. But with Marvel studios’ latest superhero sequel, Thor: The Dark World, arriving at the weekend, it has not built the sort of momentum likely to lead to a long box office run.
“The film did not draw well from young adults, despite the book’s popularity,” wrote expert Eric Handler of MKM Partners in a note to Hollywood investors on Monday. “Roughly 54 per cent of the audience was over the age of 25. A good but not great CinemaScore of B+ is not likely to hold moviegoer interest, with Thor: The Dark World opening next week.”
“Ender’s Game has a credible $28m U.S. opening but not a plausible start of a new franchise for Summit Entertainment and OddLot,” added Matthew Harrigan of Wunderlich Securities in his own note to investors. Ben Mogil of Stifel, Nicolaus & Co, said he felt Ender’s Game was unlikely to recoup more than $75m of its $110m budget at the box office.
Ender’s Game was pitched as the beginning of a potential franchise to ape the success of Lionsgate’s other teen-oriented futuristic saga, The Hunger Games. Hood’s film explicitly sets up a sequel, but the movie has suffered from negative publicity prior to its opening.
It is not known whether the campaign by Geeks Out, which called for a boycott of the film due to source novel author Orson Scott Card’s highly publicised homophobic views, ultimately effected the film’s box office. But Hood and his stars – Ford, who plays a gruff military leader, in particular – were often forced to point out that the movie did not come from the same mean-spirited place. And that cannot have been helpful.
Ender’s Game has also benefited from better-than-average reviews and currently holds a 61% “fresh” rating on the review aggregator Rotten Romatoes. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw said the film, which details the recruitment of a genius teenager to help fight an extra terrestrial threat, was a surprisingly decent effort. ” The movie’s apocalyptic finale indicates that it’s bitten off considerably more than it can chew in terms of ideas,” he wrote. “But it looks good, and the story rattles along.”
Trump has been ‘insulated’ by his wealth to never have to learn from his mistakes: biographer
President Donald Trump's inherited wealth has meant he's never had to learn from his mistakes, Trump biographer Tim O'Brien told MSNBC's Brian Williams on Thursday.
"Bloomberg Opinion writer and our next guest Tim O’Brien writes today, 'Yes, of course, you need a certain kind of appalling narcissism to be comfy promoting yourself as heaven-sent in a televised press briefing and as a deity on Twitter. It’s doubly unhinged when you’re doing this as president,'" Williams said. "He goes on 'The Trump of the past few weeks is the same disordered figure of the past several decades with, I suspect, a big dollop of something new blended in: unbridled and unmanageable panic.'"
‘Both Putin and Xi will be voting Trump in 2020’: NYT columnist says Russia and China want ‘turmoil and chaos’
The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are both rooting for President Donald Trump to win re-election in 2020, a New York Times columnist argued on MSNBC on Thursday.
Thomas Friedman was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."
"What do we know about how the leaders of other countries see Donald Trump at this stage in their dealings with him?" O'Donnell asked. "Especially this weekend, when it comes at the end of a week in which they’ve heard him call himself the King of Israel, they have heard him say he is The Chosen One. They have heard all the crazy things that everyone here has heard the president say."
Trump is ‘not a stable genius’: GOP strategist says the president ‘doesn’t remember who and where he is’
President Donald Trump's mental fitness is lacking, a top Republican strategist explained on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.
Rick Wilson, the author of the 2018 bestselling book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever, blasted the commander-in-chief.
"Rick Wilson, your assessment of where the president stands as he heads off to the G7 summit?" O'Donnell asked.
"I think Donald Trump has had a week in which he is proving that this isn’t 87-dimensional chess game, this isn't some masterful strategy of communications or persuasion," Wilson replied. "This is an old man who is sick and who has problems and who has mental disconnects and who has aphasias and who has moments where he doesn’t remember who and where he is."