The Purge 3, the next installment in the horror/thriller franchise, was officially set for a 2016 release date this month, breaking the annual release tradition for Purge movies that began in 2013. Purge series writer/director James DeMonaco is currently in pre-production mode on the project, though we can now confirm that the movie will not be a prequel about the first Purge night, as was previously rumored to be the case.
Platinum Dunes heads Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, who are producers on the Purge franchise, are responsible for debunking said Purge 3 rumor, though they're keeping details on DeMonaco's next Purge film script under-wraps for the time being. However, they have confirmed the somewhat unexpected news that an Ouija 2 is also making its way down the pipeline right now.
The Purge: Anarchy star Frank Grillo is rumored to be a strong possibility to return in Purge 3, and Fuller hasn't ruled that out either, having told Collider "[If] it works to have him back we would really be very excited." Less vague, fortunately, was Fuller's comment about the rumored Purge 3 premise.
“I read that too about the first night of The Purge. We don’t know anything about that. I read that and I haven’t heard that so I’m not sure what that was. The material that we’re considering right now [for 'The Purge 3'] is not the first night of The Purge.”
This news will come as a disappointment to those who're hoping that DeMonaco would examine how the Purge became an American tradition with The Purge 3 - a subject that could easily fill the running time of a new installment in the franchise. Then again, horror movie prequels and/or installments that fills in gaps in backstory have a habit of being rather terrible (Annabelle being a recent example), so maybe this news is for the best.
DeMonaco's Purge movies have thus far blended light sociopolitical commentary with B-movie thrills, giving rise to a formula that appears to be on the up and up in terms of commercial viability, what with Purge: Anarchy grossing $111 million versus the first Purge's $89 million global box office take. The bar for quality wasn't exactly set that high by previous installments, so there's little to no reason why Purge 3 cannot continue to please this franchise's now-established fanbase (so long as DeMonaco and his producers can agree on a half-decent premise).
An Ouija sequel - which Fuller also confirmed "is coming" - sound like a far more precarious idea than Purge 3, by comparison. The first Ouija, as co-written and directed by Stiles White, was panned by critics across the board for being an ultra-generic horror film (with the sole distinction of being "based" on the eponymous board game). Nonetheless, the movie managed to gross nearly $91 million worldwide against a $5 million budget, so a follow makes sense, from an investment perspective.
The ongoing appeal of the Purge franchise makes sense, seeing how each installment thus far has explored a different B-movie setup based around Purge night - be it the home invasion premise of the first movie or the city-wide survival thriller story for the sequel. As far as formulas for a franchise go, it's not a bad way to keep things fresher and better maintain interest from the fanbase.
An Ouija franchise, by comparison, seems likely to wear out its welcome much faster, after just two films about (forgettable) characters using the Ouija board, and being terrorized by demonic forces in return. But, of course, cheap horror movie sequels like Ouija 2 are a tried and true part of Hollywood, so chances are this one will see the light of day.
The Purge 3 is scheduled to reach theaters on July 1st, 2016.