"Ender's Game" Hitting IMAX Theaters, Lionsgate Definitely Eyeing Sequels

Lions Gate Entertainment released their quarterly results yesterday and held a conference call with analysts after the original press release was published. For those of you who are not familiar with how this works in the financial circles: investment banks and financial professionals regularly get together with a company's CEO and possibly other executives in a phone conference where company officials read out an extended statement followed by a Q&A session with analysts. Usually the analysts are more interested in what will drive growth in the company's future (such as upcoming projects/movies/etc) than they are in the reported numbers from last quarter.

These calls are always a good opportunity for a company to disclose details about developments that are promising for its future performance, as it is forbidden for a public company to partially disclose information that could possibly move it's stock price outside of such official events.

Here's what's interesting for us: According to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, Ender's Game will definitely be released in IMAX theaters come next fall:
Ender's Game has already completed principal photography, and we'll be looking at it next month before it enters post-production to complete its visual effects. With Ender's Game and Catching Fire back to back, we will have a 6-week continuous run in IMAX theaters next November and December.
This news is sure to thrill U.S. fans. However, Summit admitted that they "do not control the international rights of Ender's Game" and cannot say for sure whether or not the film will be shown in IMAX theaters abroad.

Later in the call, an analyst discussed future plans and stated that the studio has "got 11 books" and therefore a lot of material to choose from regarding possible Ender's Game sequels. He continued to inquire into the long-term goal regarding the franchise. Here is Feltheimer's response:
"There's a lot of books. We're excited about the franchise. It's a very different kind of a franchise than Hunger Games, and obviously, we just have to wait and see where we stand with the first movie. " - Jon Feltheimer (CEO of Lions Gate)
This quote and the use of the word "franchise" makes it absolutely clear that Lionsgate is looking at more than just one Ender's Game movie and should also have the rights to any possible sequels. Naturally, the success of the first movie will be the key factor in whether or not any of these sequels are actually made, but it seems very likely at this point that the studio has big plans and has already made contractual agreements with selected actors.

While Ender's Game is, as Feltheimer pointed out, a very different sort of franchise than The Hunger Games, there is no doubt that the original material is full of exciting opportunities to continue the story of Ender, his family, and the Battle School students.

This is the first time that we have an official statement - and from the chief executive officer himself - that Lionsgate views Ender's Game as a franchise and not just a stand-alone movie. This leads us to believe that from the very first casting they had potential sequels in mind and made the necessary arrangements with at least the actors.

Can't wait to find out which direction the studio intends to head!
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