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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Will We Ever Get a Film Sequel to Ender's Game? Probably Not (SPOILERS) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Will We Ever Get a Film Sequel to Ender's Game? Probably Not (SPOILERS)
Jeff C.
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So after watching the film, I can't help but think it's unlikely we'll see a sequel. The movie cost about 110 million and the rule of thumb is that the movie needs to make back about 2.5 times its cost.

So the question is, do you think it will do that?

I honestly don't think it will. I have trouble even believing it will make back its cost. It sucks to say that, because I actually really liked the movie, but I just don't think it's getting into people's heads as much as it should. My biggest fear is that this movie will mirror the performance of John Carter, although that seems unlikely given how expensive JC actually was. Still, it'll be tough.

The saving grace for this movie may actually be the overseas market, which tends to pay back pretty well on big budget scifi. Here's hoping that's what happens, because I'd love to see a sequel.

Even if the movie does manage to pay off, there's no source material left with a young Ender, at least not anything they can use. Ender in Exile can't get filmed now, given that Valentine isn't with him and he's not on a colony ship. The sequel will just be about him in space doing things, unless they decide to change it.

What do you guys think? Do we have a chance? Do you want a sequel or should this movie just stay a standalone film?

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millernumber1
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Well, I think they didn't necessarily rule out the Speaker sequels, and Bean and Peter's parts could be done still. What I've heard people talking about most is TV shows - which I would probably like better anyway. A Shadow series tv show, or a Formic Wars tv show (with an unnamed Mazer, since apparently you can't use Mazer's name on film anymore?)

The strangest things get sequels, though. But I don't know if I want sequels so much as I'd like other OSC novels (like Enchantment!) to get produced.

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Wingracer
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I still think Pastwatch would make a great movie.

Speaker and Xenocide I would rather see as an HBO style series.

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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If there was only one Orson Scott Card novel that I wanted to see adapted to film, it would be Enchantment.

Pastwatch would have to be drastically restructured to work, I think. While it is one of my favorite OSC novels, the climax is rather weak: the time travelers go back in time with a plan, and the plan works.

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vineyarddawg
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The Formic Wars books/comics are practically begging to be adapted into a big action movie. I'd bet that's the direction they'd look.
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Hobbes
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I'd want to see Chan-wook Park adapt Hart's Hope.

Hobbes [Smile]

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staredecisis
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I think it'll make about $400M. I'm not just pulling that number out of thin air: that is how much Pacific Rim made, and I think that is the most comparable movie of the year, in terms of quality and breadth of audience. I liked Ender's Game MUCH better, and I think more people will, but Pacific Rim had a much better advertising campaign, so I think they'll come in about equal. We'll know the first signs on Monday.

There has been a lot of talk about sequels. I have to agree with all above that a TV sequel (HBO?) would be amazing. The best entertainment these days is on the small screen, and the later Enderverse would be especially ripe for a TV series.

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Lyrhawn
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A Shadow series TV show has the potential to be absolutely amazing.

If something like AMC picked it up, or even HBO, it could be huge.

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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
A Shadow series TV show has the potential to be absolutely amazing.

If something like AMC picked it up, or even HBO, it could be huge.

Agreed. It's basically a geopolitical thriller about land war, terrorism, and political maneuvering.
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Dan_Frank
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The 10-20 minutes of gratuitous sex required per episode of any HBO show would really pull me out of the story, if they did a Shadow adaptation.
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millernumber1
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Nice one, Dan_Frank [Smile]
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
A Shadow series TV show has the potential to be absolutely amazing.

If something like AMC picked it up, or even HBO, it could be huge.

Agreed. It's basically a geopolitical thriller about land war, terrorism, and political maneuvering.
Exactly. And they wouldn't really have to age anyone up for anything either. Most of the main children would be in their late teens by this point, so they could be played by young actors.

You could have the occasionally big set piece battle scene, murder or bombing, but by and large it's a lot of dramatic personal confrontations, dramatic discoveries, chase scenes, and geopolitical machinations that take place via email.

They could do half a book a season, roughly, let it run seven or so seasons. I also think there would be room for a lot of humor, since Card wrote the children to be so sarcastic, and the adults too occasionally.

It's the sort of show I could see Josh Schwartz maybe doing. Someone who is good as mixing action, drama and comedy.

Dan_Frank notes my only apprehension about putting it on a pay channel. I think it'd be better as either an AMC or Netflix production, but I'd want longer than a 16 episode season.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
The 10-20 minutes of gratuitous sex required per episode of any HBO show would really pull me out of the story, if they did a Shadow adaptation.

A valid criticism but not everything HBO does is full of it. Just look at The Newsroom.
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BlackBlade
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Band of Brothers I think had a total of 15 seconds of nudity/sex for the entire series.
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scifibum
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It looks like they made about a quarter of the budget back on opening weekend. I'm too lazy to look up any information on whether that kind of opening weekend tends to lead to earning out the budget early on or not. Even if domestic gross doesn't earn out the budget, I suspect it's fine - with international and DVD sales, I'm sure they'll make $200MM or more.

(Leaving aside the fact that the "budget" includes post-release payments from revenues and is relatively meaningless when trying to assess whether a film is financially successful for those involved.)

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Samprimary
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quote:
(Leaving aside the fact that the "budget" includes post-release payments from revenues and is relatively meaningless when trying to assess whether a film is financially successful for those involved.)
hooray, someone UNDERSTANDS
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BlackBlade
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Marketing and distribution costs are also not included in the cost to make a movie. And that is typically tens of millions of dollars. For example Spiderman 2 spent $75 million on just marketing.
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FlyingCow
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Can't compare EG to Pacific Rim. PR had a built-in Asian market appeal as a kaiju film, and the domestic gross was always expected to be smaller than the foreign take. One critic commented that the name had less to do with the movie than the target market.

Still, PR made $37M in its opening weekend to EG's 28M, so EG is already well behind. It also dropped 57% its second weekend... which, if it holds for EG, would make the second weekend gross in the $12M range. It will likely fall short of its budget domestically.

Also, with Thor 2, Hunger Games 2, and Hobbit 2 all coming out over the next 6 weeks, that's going to bleed off its audience fairly quickly.

In terms of oversees box office, most science fiction novel adaptations do less than 60% of their overall take overseas, and I'm not aware of any built-in overseas market for EG like PR had. EG is probably going to fall in the $160-180M range worldwide, which will very likely not warrant a sequel.

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staredecisis
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Can't compare EG to Pacific Rim. PR had a built-in Asian market appeal as a kaiju film, and the domestic gross was always expected to be smaller than the foreign take. One critic commented that the name had less to do with the movie than the target market.

Still, PR made $37M in its opening weekend to EG's 28M, so EG is already well behind. It also dropped 57% its second weekend... which, if it holds for EG, would make the second weekend gross in the $12M range. It will likely fall short of its budget domestically.

Also, with Thor 2, Hunger Games 2, and Hobbit 2 all coming out over the next 6 weeks, that's going to bleed off its audience fairly quickly.

In terms of oversees box office, most science fiction novel adaptations do less than 60% of their overall take overseas, and I'm not aware of any built-in overseas market for EG like PR had. EG is probably going to fall in the $160-180M range worldwide, which will very likely not warrant a sequel.

I have to agree with your analysis after a bit of research. Pacific Rim pulled in a massive haul overseas that EG probably won't.

I'm thinking circa $100 million domestically and about the same internationally. It hasn't been released in most of the world yet, so we don't know how it'll do overseas.

Still, $200M might be good enough to get a sequel, especially since the sequels would likely be cheaper to make. (I don't think it'd cost nearly as much to make Speaker for the Dead as it'd cost to make Ender's Game, although my understanding is that Speaker isn't the sequel that we'd likely get.)

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FlyingCow
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$100M would be very hard to do with a $28M opening. Usually opening weekend grosses are somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of the total domestic gross for a film. That would put EG somewhere in the range of $60-85M domestically. It also doesn't help that reviews and word-of-mouth are mixed, so it's unlikely to get the second week buzz of a film like Gravity or Avatar to lessen the fall off.

The other thing that would make sequels difficult is that they are thematically and stylistically very different from EG (both the Speaker series and the Shadow series), so it would be hard to build on the casual audience that came out for EG.

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GaalDornick
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I hate to be a negative nancy, but this sounds an awful lot like all the talk of a Serenity sequel that was never going to happen. And a tv series...when was the last time a comparable movie that didn't even turn into a blockbuster hit get a tv series afterwards? A tv series sounds like dreaming to me.
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Samprimary
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Serenity was a complete bomb, and no matter what, enders is guaranteed an okay opening weekend. what's it fighting against, Bad Grandpa?
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Jeff C.
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Nah, Bad Grandpa opened last week. This week Ender's Game competed against some animated bird movie or something. It was guaranteed first place. Next week, on the other hand, it has to compete with Thor 2, which it has no chance of sparring with.
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Frisco
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The Shadow series was middling at best. One of the few series I put down mid-book and never finished (and I finished the WoT series).

Speaker is a great book, and I can't see any reason to put it on film. Ender's Game only made it to the big screen for the special effects (or that's how the finished product seemed). If they gave Speaker the same fast-forward-through-character-development-to-get-to-CGI treatment EG got, it would be a movie about Andy Serkis as a piggy.

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millernumber1
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I would go see a movie with Andy Serkis as Human!
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FlyingCow
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Serenity was a bomb... though, for as little as it's worth, it made a comparable percentage of its stated production budget as Ender's Game did. Serenity had better overall reviews (at least, per Rotten Tomatoes), but lacked the star appeal (Ford, Kingsley, etc).

Still, though, EG made more in its opening weekend ($27.0M) than Serenity did during its entire domestic run ($25.5M). We'll see how big of a dip it takes this weekend against Thor 2, and then on the 22nd with Hunger Games 2.

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vineyarddawg
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I'm still holding to my original opinion that Ender's Game was too plot-driven to be an effective science-fiction movie for today's audiences.

Audiences today shell out their money to see movies like Gravity that have stunning, groundbreaking special effects with basically no plot. For that matter, lump Thor into that category, as well. Lots of eye-popping special effects and action, combined with an exceptionally simplistic, predictable story. (And sex. Gotta have the sex, or at least sexy shots of the actors in their skivvies.)

I mean, to make a movie like Ender's Game a commercial success, you'd have needed to put Petra in a skin-tight two-piece bikini space suit and give her a love scene with Ender in Command School where she tearfully tells him to, "Go kill those buggers."

And you would have needed some crazy, fast hand-to-hand combat as a bugger commando strike force infiltrated the command depot during Ender's final battle, killing Graff and Anderson and causing Mazer Rackham to have to detonate the previously-unknown "failsafe" Little Doctor they installed in the HQ in case it ever fell back into bugger hands. Fortunately, he waited until the last possible second, and Ender was able to run to Petra, kiss her softly, and tell her to "do it for us" as she pressed the button to unleash the Little Doctor everyone knew about on the bugger homeworld.

Then, somehow, Ender and Petra manage to escape and come back to Earth as conquering heros.

(Why, yes, I am a little jaded about what I perceive as the poor quality of "commercially successful" films. Why do you ask?)

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scifibum
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Oh, hell, I'd watch that.
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millernumber1
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Your potential Ender's Game makes me crack up - and remind myself that the film we did get was definitely made by fans, even if I disagree with their understanding of the story. [Smile]
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Jeff C.
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I feel like if this movie had been turned into a tv series on AMC or something, it could have worked really well. Hell, we could have even had a seven part movie series like Harry Potter, but the chances of that happening are insanely slim. Still, one year for every year of school would have been fun to watch.

As it stands, we got one of the better versions of a standalone film that we could have hoped for.

Side note: the film has grossed 40 million now.

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vineyarddawg
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
I feel like if this movie had been turned into a tv series on AMC or something, it could have worked really well. Hell, we could have even had a seven part movie series like Harry Potter, but the chances of that happening are insanely slim. Still, one year for every year of school would have been fun to watch.

As it stands, we got one of the better versions of a standalone film that we could have hoped for.

Side note: the film has grossed 40 million now.

Seeing how faithful Gavin Hood was to the original material, I think EG could have very easily been split into two movies that were filmed at the same time, Peter Jackson-style. Have the Bonzo affair/Ender's graduation from Battle School be the climax, with Val on Earth being the denouement and the closing scene be something like that scene where Ender says to Graff "I thought we were going back to Battle School," and Graff says, "No... we're going much further away."

As for a TV adaptation, the problem with a standard TV series is that due to the shortened production times, you typically get much less in the way of special effects than you get with movies. As a miniseries, perhaps, you could approximate what you'd get in the movie, but I suspect that even a short 10-episode "HBO season" is too much to have the Battle Room and Command School Simulator show up in the same way they did in the movie.

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Ronin
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I'm surprised no one has suggested Amazon or Netflix for a mini-series. This would be perfect for them. Of course politics might well interfere.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Ronin:
I'm surprised no one has suggested Amazon or Netflix for a mini-series. This would be perfect for them. Of course politics might well interfere.

I don't think it's presently profitable for them to invest large amounts of money in original programming. They have boatloads of cash, but they need a relatively sound reason to spend it.

Maybe if their original content ventures succeed for a few years and they start attracting large numbers of viewers as a result, they would invest the kind of money it would take to do decent special effects.

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
Originally posted by vineyarddawg:
Seeing how faithful Gavin Hood was to the original material, I think EG could have very easily been split into two movies that were filmed at the same time, Peter Jackson-style.

I would have agreed with this statement until I saw Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. It's so easy to say that if you just had more time, you can do a better job representing the source material, but The Hobbit is a testament to the sins of the other extreme.

I think the Ender's Game movie could have been better with no more than just 10-20 more minutes to let us see more of Battle School and how Ender trains Dragon Army, and perhaps set aside a little more time to develop Ender and Valentine's relationship. The accusations of the movie being "rushed" seem to focus mostly around the middle and end of Ender's Battle School arc. Everything else was surprisingly well-paced, I thought.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:

Side note: the film has grossed 40 million now.

is this a "net box office including theater and movie association cut" versus "production costs excluding advertising and externals" gross?
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:

Side note: the film has grossed 40 million now.

is this a "net box office including theater and movie association cut" versus "production costs excluding advertising and externals" gross?
It's box office mojo gross, so whatever that is.
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Samprimary
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Yeah, probably. It's the most common method by which they tally 'gross' even though the studio's probably invested two to three times as much money as listed in the 'cost' and only got back about a third of the box office take themselves.
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Marek
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quote:
Originally posted by millernumber1:
A Shadow series tv show, or a Formic Wars tv show (with an unnamed Mazer, since apparently you can't use Mazer's name on film anymore?)


I was pretty sure they used his name in the movie? Just a bit confused, did i miss something?

Also i vote for Enchantment or Hart's Hope. Tho i think Hart's Hope would be more likely as a SyFy channel thing

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millernumber1
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In interviews with Aaron Johnston and OSC, they mention that a TV show couldn't use Mazer's name because of the film. Not quite sure how it works, but that's what is being said.
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Marek
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Okay, now it makes sense
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Threads
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The movie hasn't been doing too well in theaters so I'd be surprised if they made a sequel. However, I really liked it and I think it would be great if they released an extended edition of the movie - ideally with some more battle school scenes.
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Samprimary
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worldwide 'gross' so far is about $53 million, and your typical goal is to get that number to the production 'budget' in this case, $110 million.

(neither budget nor box office returns are what they appear to be, but that's not important in the way you would think it is)

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Samprimary
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... wait a minute :/
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Jeff C.
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53 million is nothing when you consider that cost. The film has dropped to fifth place this weekend, which is terrible. Thor, on the other hand, opened with 83 million.

It might be time to admit that the future of the franchise is all but doomed. But hey, at least we've got the books.

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FlyingCow
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A 62% dropoff in the second weekend is not a good sign - nor is dropping to 5th (probably a worse sign, as it was leapfrogged by 3 other movies that it shared theaters with last weekend). All this with Hunger Games 2 looming on Friday, too (and Delivery Man, which will also draw general audience viewers).

For some comparison with other SF novel adaptations, Hunger Games (box office success) made 61% of its total gross through two weekends and John Carter (box office failure)made 73% during that time. In a very very rough sense using those parameters, EG's total domestic gross would fall between $60-72M.

That's not very good.

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Samprimary
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yeah I just rethought the numbers and I think this movie is literally doing worse than After Earth
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Jeff C.
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Whoa, whoa, whoa. Samp. Calm down.

*comforts Samp*

Shhh....

Let's not bring up After Earth. No situation is so desparate or dire that such a terrible thing needs mentioning. Ever.

Just put the knife down and relax.

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Samprimary
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yeah but if it's doing worse than after earth, that's a travesty

ender's game is by most accounts a pretty average not-good-but-not-bad acceptable thing. but after earth? it's a horrid braindead travesty

it does not deserve to outdo EG

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Jeff C.
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I know, Samp. I know.

The difference is Will Smith. He has always had blockbusters, except for After Earth, which was his first flop. Still, his star power was probably enough to keep it above where EG is now.

Too bad Harrison Ford's presence just wasn't enough.

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Samprimary
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have i even really described how terrible after earth is? it is like a complete confluence of a bunch of impossibly terrible things that each on their own would have made the movie stupid, but all of them combine into this glorious fetid elixir of fail (that still only manages to be the second worst Scientology recruitment production ever)
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