Opinion about the found-footage party film Project X is so divisive that it nearly tore apart our Screen Rant Underground podcast team. One look at the film's Rotten Tomatoes scores further evidences a sharp divide between critics who detested the movie (read our scathing review) and average movie goers who enjoyed it for what it was: a crazy party caught on film.
But studios measure success squarely in dollars and cents, and after Project X's $20 million opening weekend, Warner Bros. has determined that a sequel is worth making.
THR has the exclusive that WB is moving ahead with a Project X sequel; the studio has already tapped the writers of the first film, Michael Bacall (21 Jump Street) and Matt Drake, to work on a treatment for the second film. Producer Todd Phillips will be the one responsible for deciding if that treatment is good enough to move on to the scripting stage.
No word yet on WB's plans for bringing the Project X cast back (or not). THR couldn't confirm whether or not the starring trio - Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown - have option deals in place for a sequel, but considering that they were virtual unknowns before the film, they don't exactly have a whole lot of leverage when it comes to negotiating a bigger salary for a second go-round.
Also in question is whether a sequel film would follow in the found-footage format of its predecessor. The smart money is on WB continuing with found-footage, as it is cheap to produce and has the potential to net a wide profit margin. Whether movie fans will still be open to the format (which is not without some inherent problems) remains to be seen, as found-footage has been in danger of being overused lately, thanks to 2012 films like Chronicle (a good use of the format) and The Devil Inside (a terrible use of the format).
Personally, I think the studio would be smart to go with a new cast of fresh-face actors and a new story about a different crazy high school party. The characters of the first film were an issue for many viewers (particularly Cooper's foul-mouthed hype man, Costa), and weren't particularly beloved or memorable. Furthermore, Project X was about the party more so than the lives or emotions of the characters; so long as the event itself stays at the center of this of event film franchise, we're fairly certain that people wouldn't miss the original cast all that much.
We'll keep you updated about the status of the Project X sequel.