The Playlist has broken a pretty major story, confirming that director Gary Ross will not be back to helm the second and/or third films in The Hunger Games franchise. There have been rumblings all week about contract negotiations, and Ross has now politely passed. The site chalks it up to both Ross’s lack of desire to stay in the same universe for the next several years combined with a somewhat low-ball offer from Lionsgate. Whatever the case, Ross is gone and the hunt for a new director is now on.
Posts Tagged ‘Gary Ross’
Besting any number of opening weekend records, The Hunger Games opened this weekend with a scorching $155 million. That’s the third-biggest opening weekend of all-time, behind The Dark Knight ($158 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II ($169 million). It’s also the biggest opening weekend for a non-sequel, non-summer movie, and the biggest debut in history for a film not released by Warner Bros. during the third weekend in July, for those keeping release-date score. It’s also Lionsgate’s highest-grossing film ever after just three days, besting the $123 million-debut of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. While it’s Lionsgate’s most expensive movie, it’s still an example of smart budgeting as it came it at $90 million before tax credits which brought the total exposure to just $78 million. Even if you factor in the studio’s hardcore marketing over the last month, Lionsgate is surely in the black, or will be by Friday, making everything thereafter pure profit. There isn’t too much to say because this record debut has been prognosticated to the point of tedium over the last two months, as one tracking report after another continually upped the predicted opening weekend number, to the point where the film would have been called a ‘flop’ if it hadn’t opened with at least $100 million (not by me, mind you). But, yeah, Lionsgate pulled some of the best marketing in modern history (teaser/trailer 1/trailer 2), turning a relatively popular young adult book series into a mainstream media ‘event,’ which in turn made the film adaptation into a must-sample event even for audiences who only had token knowledge of the series.
The Hunger Games, as it exists as a film, is caught between two worlds. On the one hand, it wants to be a dramatic thriller about a totalitarian regime that picks children at random and forces them to fight each other to the death for the entertainment of the wealthy masses. On the other hand, it wants to be a series that appeals to mass audiences in order to rack up massive box-office grosses and become ‘the next big franchise.’
By Josh Abraham
Big Machine Records recording artist Taylor Swift, a four-time Grammy® AwardWinner, including the 2009 Grammy® for Album of the Year, collaborated with the Civil Wars and Burnett to write and perform the lead single Safe and Sound, which was launched on iTunes on December 23rd. The song, released for fans to discover organically and promoted directly to Swift’s fans through her Twitter account, shot to the top ten on iTunes overall songs chart, and pop chart within twelve hours of its debut, and was the #1 song on iTunes the same day of its release. #Safeandsound became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter soon after Swift first tweeted the news of the single’s release. The single is available for purchase at: http://WWW.smarturl.it/HungerGames.