The Purge turned out to be a big hit for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions – winning the weekend box office with a $36 million haul on a $3 million budget. The film – which examines a near-future America in which all crime is declared legal for one night a year – had a premise that was more intriguing than the stripped-down, single-setting thriller director James DeMonaco presented (read our review); that’s why it’s no surprise that the studio is going to mine the idea for greater box office opportunity.
In other words: A Purge sequel has already been given the green light, so the only question is: what will it be about?
The Wrap reported on the Purge sequel being given the go-ahead. This development is by now par for the course for Blumhouse Productions, which has been one of the biggest ushers of the micro-budget horror movie sub-genre. For those unfamiliar: Blumhouse has produced films like the Paranormal Activity franchise and last year’s horror hit Sinister (also starring Ethan Hawke) for budgets in the low single-digit millions, which ultimately generate gross earnings in the (approx) $40 – 50 million range. It’s no secret that after four movies (and a fifth on the way) Blumhouse is milking the PA franchise for
all more than it’s worth; Sinister 2 is in the works as well, which is clear sign the studio is also milking that franchise. So, The Purge 2 is just a logical next step in the company’s proven blueprint for horror movie success – but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be getting a better movie the second time around.
Paranormal Activity 4 was the most blatant example yet of Blumhouse using brand recognition to offer audiences an undercooked film – one that spent more time rehashing the overly-famliar scare tactics the franchise is known for, and almost zero time straightening out the franchise’s increasingly convoluted mythos - whether or not Sinister 2 and The Purge 2 follow suit remains to be seen. In the case of the latter, people have already begun speculating that a Purge sequel might take things out of a single house setting and into the wider mayhem of the savage streets – and while that might be interesting (and epic) to witness, the simple fact is such a move doesn’t fit with tight-pursestrings approach that Blumhouse seems to be rigidly sticking to.
In fact, in the case of both Sinister 2 and The Purge 2, I wouldn’t be surprised to see each sequel rehash the same story using a new set of characters in a different locale (still a single house setting); either that or a continuation of the first chapters using the surviving characters (relocated to new single-setting locales) – much like PA2. However, a sprawling road trip manhunt for Sinister’s Bughuul or a city-wide odyssey through a night of Purging aren’t the type of $equels I would place my bets on, since it would push the budgets of each respective film past the studio’s comfort zone.
What would you like to see from The Purge 2? Another round of the same (with maybe some better and more thought-provoking direction)? Or an epic look at the larger mass violence the annual ritual inspires?
[WARNING! SPOILERS BELOW!]
Although, given his 0% survival rate for both Sinister and The Purge, don’t expect to see Ethan Hawke headlining either sequel.
We’ll keep you updated on the status of The Purge 2 as news is released.
The Purge is now playing in theaters. It is 85 minutes long and is Rated R for strong disturbing violence and some language. Be sure to Read Our Review.
Source: The Wrap