The film Sicario has only been playing in select theaters for a few days, but it is quickly making a huge impact. It centers around Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an idealistic FBI agent recruited to work on an anti-cartel task force. Under the command of the mysterious Matt (Josh Brolin), she is quickly thrown into the middle of the dangerous war on drugs in Juárez, Mexico. Written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) this action crime drama’s limited release — only six theaters total the first weekend — has been performing incredibly well so far.
Setting a 2015 record Sicario has amassed $401,288 to date, giving it a $66,881 per theater average since its September 18th release. Its success has earned it another limited expansion the weekend of September 25th, before its wide release on October 2nd. This early box office success has translated into more development opportunities, as a sequel is now in the works at Lionsgate.
Sheridan is reportedly overseeing the follow-up film, which will center on Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), the film’s fearsome hitman with murky allegiances and few moral scruples. Villeneuve is also involved with the project, though at this early stage it’s uncertain if he will return to direct. Beyond Del Toro’s character returning, there have been no reports on whether or not Blunt or Brolin’s characters will also appear in the film.
There seems to be enthusiastic studio support to explore this world further. In an interview with Variety, Lionsgate’s co-chair of motion picture groups Patrick Wachsberger discussed the possible sequel stating, “Before the release of this movie, I was talking to Denis [Villeneuve] and I said what happened to this character? Where is Benicio going?” It’s that open-ended curiosity that could turn this stand-alone film into a franchise, with the door open for multiple spinoffs.
While sequels are nothing new in Hollywood this is certainly an intriguing premise. The first was a haunting and powerful film, made stronger by the incredible performances throughout. With his Academy Award-winning role in Traffic, as well as critically acclaimed turns in Che and, of course, The Usual Suspects, Del Toro has long since proven himself to be an outstanding actor; one more then capable of leading a movie like this. Right now, the subject matter feels all too relevant and it would be interesting to see how Alejandro is developed.
Of course it is too early to tell if this new project will be of the same caliber as its predecessor, but with the talent involved potentially returning, it sounds like a promising follow up.
Sicario is now playing in limited release. It expands to wide release on October 2nd, 2015.