'Ender's Game' Opens Strong But Won't Spawn a Franchise, Say Analysts

Summit Entertainment
"Ender's Game"

UPDATED: Gavin Hood's sci-fi epic is expected to face strong competition when "Thor: The Dark World" opens domestically next weekend.

TORONTO – Ender's Game opened strong but will not produce a new franchise for Lionsgate/Summit.

That's the consensus from analysts Monday after Gavin Hood's sci-fi epic opened to a solid $28 million in North America.

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"The film did not draw well from young adults, despite the book's popularity," MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler wrote in an investors note on Monday. "Roughly 54 percent 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."

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. analyst Ben Mogil reiterated his projection that Ender's Game, which has a $110 million budget, will generate about $75 million in box office.

The teen tentpole, which opened ahead of Lionsgate releasing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire juggernaut Nov. 22, faces stiff competition this coming weekend from Thor: The Dark World opening domestically.

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"Ender's Game has a credible $28 million U.S. opening but not a plausible start of a new franchise for Summit Entertainment and OddLot," Matthew Harrigan, an analyst at Wunderlich Securities, argued in his investors note.

Eric Wold of B. Riley & Co. insisted Ender’s Game had "a relatively lackluster start," while pointing out Imax over-indexed with 17 percent of the box office, against his 12 percent prior estimate.

Ender's Game is a co-production between Summit Entertainment, OddLot Entertainment and Digital Domain. The picture stars Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin. Set in the near future, the story revolves around a young boy (Butterfield) who is recruited by the military to stop an alien race from destroying the world.