By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 1, 2011 at 4:48AM
Can you smell that? It's money. And Lionsgate is already counting the bucks that have come in for their mega-franchise "The Hunger Games" just as cameras have started rolling on the picture.
Deadline reveals that during a chat with Wall Street suits following the studio's earning report yesterday, COO Joe Drake said "The Hunger Games" was "the highest-selling film we've ever had," predicted that the series will be an "outsized success," and boasted that the studio has the better end of the deals struck with both talent and distributors. That's a lot of boasting bro. But the most interesting nugget from the piece is the news that the series will be "four action films that the studio will release from the trilogy written by Suzanne Collins." A trilogy of four films? The math may not work, but we can't say we're surprised.
Studios wary of their breadwinner franchises ending and the lucrative money pot that comes with it have taken to extending the finales in recent years. Warner Bros. split up "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" into two movies and Summit did the same for "Twilight: Breaking Dawn." So will "Mockingjay" get the same two-fer treatment? Yeah, probably.
Are fans gonna get tired of paying twice to see their favorite books-into-movies come to a close? We doubt it. Both Hogwart-heads and Twi-hards don't seem to be too concerned about it, largely because the films are meeting their expectations and if Gary Ross and co. can deliver, 'Hunger Games' fans will be too absorbed in the movies to care about getting fleeced. And really, it would be worse...