Earlier this week, we provided our readers with five different reasons that help to explain why a significant number of Summer 2013 blockbusters have under-peformed at the box office. While a handful of the cast and crew who produced said "bombs" have pointed the finger of blame at movie reviewers (who they claim are biased and have unfair expectations), the healthy profit margin for Now You See Me - a movie that generated a lukewarm general critical response - suggests that maybe it has more to do with the reasons we've listed (see: the over-inflated budgets, relying on unfashionable properties over more original content, etc.).
Now You See Me has grossed over $233 million worldwide on a $75 million budget, with slightly more than half that amount coming from moviegoers outside the U.S. Here in the States, the magician heist thriller is joined by movies like The Heat and The Conjuring as the non-sequel Summer 2013 releases - each costing less than $100 million to produce - that've managed to break into the Top 20 of this year's U.S. box office.
So... naturally... Now You See Me is getting a sequel (just like The Conjuring).
THR is reporting that Lionsgate has begun development on a followup to Now You See Me, but has yet to indicate whether there is already a screenwriter in place; not to mention, if any of the original film's cast members or director Louis Leterrier is lined up to return, at this stage. Nonetheless, Lionsgate executives are claiming to have already penciled in a (tentative) 2014 production start date for principal photography to begin.
The (mini-)studio made the announcement, in conjunction with official confirmation that it has put together lucrative foreign pre-sales deals for the film. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer released a statement, saying "This is a perfect example of how we're benefiting from the unique international infrastructure of output deals, joint ventures and self-distribution we've set in place to maximize value and minimize risk."
Now You See Me follows a group of extremely-skilled magicians - played by Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson - as they perform a series of extravagant crimes disguised as tricks, but with a much loftier motivation than the desire for wealth. However, the true protagonists of the film are an F.B.I. agent (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent (Melanie Laurent), who are forced to work together, so that they might take down the slippery illusionists. Personally, I was a fan of the movie - and in my review for Screen Rant, I even noted that certain half-done mythology elements felt like they could be "sequel fodder."
Having said that, there are multiple directions that a screenwriter and director could take with a sequel to Now You See Me; that includes, which cast members to bring back (if not all of the talented actors and actresses that were mentioned before). Presumably, the next installment will at least dive somewhat further into the mystery that is "The Eye": the
rumored secret society of masterful illusionists that has existed going back to ancient historical times (as is discussed in the first movie).
If you want to discuss your own theories about what will happen in the Now You See Me sequel - with those who've already seen the first movie - feel free to head on over to the film's spoiler discussion thread.
The Now You See Me sequel (Now You See Me 2? ... Now You Don't?) does not have an official release date yet. We'll keep you updated on the situation, as more information become available.