Friday, 1 November 2013

Ender's Game: The Reviews Are In!


Summit and OddLot Entertainment co-financed this $110 million adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s beloved sci-fi novel about a young boy who is recruited to a military school in space and manipulated by every adult around him. The film stars Hugo‘s Asa Butterfield in the title role, as well as Harrison Ford as Colonel Hyrum Graff. Curiously, Summit has all but hidden Butterfield in Ender’s Game‘s marketing campaign, instead focusing almost exclusively on Ford. Granted, he’s an iconic superstar with multi-generational appeal, but you’d think that Lionsgate, Summit’s parent company, would have learned the importance of establishing a protagonist from its remarkably successful Hunger Games campaign.
Tracking for Ender’s Game has been relatively mild, and the controversy surrounding Card’s views on gay marriage have garnered negative publicity for the film. But the reality is that young adult fantasy franchises are notoriously difficult to launch. For every Hunger Games or Harry Potter, there are many more bombs likeBeautiful Creatures or The Mortal Instruments, and there’s rarely a clear reason why giant literary hits don’t connect on screen. YA fans are a rather fickle bunch — though Ender’s Game has been a hit since 1985, and it has a legion of older fans as well. Thus, Ender’s Game won’t stoop as low as Mortal Instruments, but it might perform similarly to Eragon ($23 million opening, $75 million total) or The Spiderwick Chronicles ($19 million, $71 million). Opening in 3,407 theaters, expect the film to earn about $26 million this weekend.

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