Lions Gate Films is already in enough trouble; their stock has been in a nosedive for months. Right now it’s at $18.79. Two weeks ago it was up around $29.
Lions Gate’s main problem is that they appear to have no plans and no big films to replace the “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” series. Their last serial is “Divergent,” the short of lowly cousin of the others.
Now the director of “Divergent” chapters 2 and 3, Robert Schwentke, has decided not to finish the series with number 4. (Neil Burger directed chapter 1.) Schwentke, they say, is exhausted from making two movies back to back.
The first “Divergent” made $150 million, not a huge amount for a Young Adult romance/slash/dystopian fantasy. The second one took in $130 million. The third one, coming March 18th, is a question mark. If it falls another $20 million, Lions Gate will be looking for something spectacular and new to attract viewers to a fourth film. They’ll have to hurry, too, to find a new director with a great vision. “Ascendant” is supposed to open on June 9th next year.
These serials are tricky. By the time you reach the last film, the original audience is four or five years older and has moved on to more interesting stuff. Witness the final “Hunger Games.” Teens had already read the last book and graduated the class. “Ascendant” may be “Decedent” by then.