Lionsgate Bets Post-'Hunger Games,’ ‘Twilight’ Future on More Young Adult Franchises

The studio is bullish on proposed film adaptations of Veronica Roth's "Divergent" series, Erin Morgenstern's  "The Night Circus," and Patrick Ness' "Chaos Walking" trilogy. 

Lionsgate is lining up several young adult franchises that it hopes will keep the box office booming beyond its "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games" films, studio executives said in an earnings call Thursday.

Among potential projects are adaptations of Veronica Roth's "Divergent" series, Erin Morgenstern's  "The Night Circus," and Patrick Ness' "Chaos Walking" trilogy.

First out of the gate will be "Ender's Game," a film version of Orson Scott Card's fantasy novel with Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley that hits theaters on November 1, 2013. 

The Vancouver-based Lionsgate said that its recent acquisition of Summit, the indie studio behind "Twilight," was a central piece of this strategy. 

"We have established ourselves as the number one studio in young adult franchises," Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told investors, analysts and reporters.

Also read: How 'Hunger Games' Can Make Lionsgate a Major Hollywood Player

Though "The Hunger Games" was a global blockbuster, racking up nearly $650 million worldwide, the studio's recent fiscal quarter disappointed Wall Street cognoscenti. 

Citing expenses related to its Summit purchase last winter, Lionsgate reported a net loss of $22.7 million, or 17 cents a share, on $645.2 million in revenue for the first three months of the year.

The studio said it had more than $100 million in expenses related to the "Twilight" studio acquisition and the cost of marketing and distributing "The Hunger Games."

On the conference call, Lionsgate executives said that 90 percent of the revenue from "The Hunger Games" will appear in future earnings reports. 

Based on its production slate, it also seems to believes it has found a proven formula for what lures teenagers into multiplexes. Like "The Hunger Games," books like "Divergent" and "Chaos Walking" are set in dystopian futures and feature youthful protagonists. 

Even if none of these adaptations hit — and it should be said that for every "Twilight" there is a "Spiderwick Chronicles"-like underachiever —  Lionsgate's two big franchises should put it in a good position for future growth. 

November's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2" will be the last film in the franchise, but the company still has home entertainment revenue to leverage."The Hunger Games" still has three more installments expected in the next six years.

Feltheimer predicted "highly visible cash flow and earnings" in the quarters and years to come. 

After falling 7 percent in after hours trading after Lionsgate's earnings were announced Wednesday, shares rebounded slightly Thursday morning, rising .89 percent to $12.97.