Lionsgate Says ‘Red 2’ Disappointed While ‘Expendables 3’ Casting Is Still In Flux

The action film starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren “underperformed our expectations at the domestic box office” but will “make a solid profit” as it opens in overseas markets, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told analysts this morning. Still, the company says it has a solid batting average with its portfolio, with a sequel for Now You See Me “in the planning stages.” And it anticipates a home run in March with Divergent. One exec says it appears on pace to become a success on the order of The Hunger Games, calling the parallels in the early feedback “very, very strong and very, very similar.” Feltheimer added that there’s a lower bar to cross because “we budgeted the film like a commercial release, not like a blockbuster.” He also likes the financial terms for the action film Ender’s Game, due in November. “We’re 25% of the equity investment in the film with a low threshold for domestic performance for us to break even.” Regarding recent casting changes for Expendables 3 — Harrison Ford is joining and Bruce Willis is leaving — Feltheimer says that “these deals are being negotiated up to the last day” and “the franchise is going to have a lot of new and exciting blood in it.” The CEO also talked up Lionsgate’s television business, noting that the company “will nearly double our in-house production this year” as it produces for NBC, the History Channel, E!, Cartoon Network, FX, Amazon and Hulu. The company’s shares continue to hit all-time highs and is up modestly this morning after reporting stronger than expected earnings for the quarter that ended in June

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