Lionsgate have decided to push forward in developing a sequel to their over-performing heist movie, Now You See Me. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film's total global box office will come to $150 million, against a budget of $75 million.
I think the success of the first film rested on two pillars. One: the idea of stage magicians pulling off a heist promises a lot of fun and clever twists. Two: the cast were cool and appealing, and maybe they weren't big star names – "Hey, it's that Facebook kid, Mr. Hulk and… someone who looks a bit like that stoned fella who hosted The Oscars" – but they were good looking and publicity-friendly.
So the film definitely delivered on the cast, but the handling of the heists and stage magic was more than problematic. Not only were a number of the magic tricks impossible, which resulted in just the most underwhelming of series of set pieces, some of the "big twists" were properly laugh-out-loud hilarious. In a bad way. This is a particularly impressive achievement considering how unsurprising most of them also were.
Sadly, this film took a pretty sharp downward trajectory from start to finish. What fun there was in the first act gave way to silliness and ended in downright offensiveness.
So I'm not sure a sequel is the best idea. Surely word of mouth on this film couldn't have been good?
Anyway, here's hoping Lionsgate have the brass to call the next film Now You Don't.