The Hollywood reporter offered an interesting article that focused on the possibilities of sequels to films released this past summer, given their box office success/failure:
The bit that fascinated me was about what was probably one of the most disappointing films released this summer (indeed, considering how eager I was to see this and the high hopes I had for it, maybe the most disappointing film in many summers!), Prometheus. This is what they had to say about the possibility of a sequel to that film:
(FOX) studio’s big summer bet was Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus, June’s sort-of Alien prequel. The $130 million-budgeted film grossed a solid but not spectacular $303 million globally, putting it right on the franchise bubble. Fox confirms to THR that Scott and the studio actively are pushing ahead with a follow-up (stars Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace are signed) and are talking to new writers because Prometheus co-scribe Damon Lindelof might not be available. “Ridley is incredibly excited about the movie, but we have to get it right. We can’t rush it,” says Fox president of production Emma Watts, who also has overseen the successful reboots of the X-Men and Planet of the Apes franchises. A Prometheus sequel would be released in 2014 or 2015.
Despite my feelings regarding the film, I have to admit that I’d be open to a sequel. I might -might!- even become excited to see such a thing, provided the story this time around is a good one and not the messy (though undeniably ambitious) story we had with Prometheus.
Going over the reprinted blurb above, the people who did enjoy Prometheus and are eager to see the sequel should note that nowhere in this piece does it say that this potential sequel is a certainty. Indeed, note how the article states the movie’s gross was “solid but not spectacular” and that because of that it is on a “franchise bubble”. Yes, director Ridley Scott is “excited about the movie” and is working on a sequel, but Fox president of production Emma Watts does not come out and say this sequel has been greenlighted.
Perhaps I’m reading more into this very short blurb than I should, but I get the impression that the people at Fox are well aware of the disappointment audiences had to the film and realize the Prometheus could have flopped badly. While it made them money, they may feel they dodged a bullet and whatever profit they made was in spite of the movie’s weak story. This is further reinforced by the fact that they are talking to other writers about the sequel because screenwriter Damon Lindelof “may not be available”. One gets the sense that this is a polite way of saying they may not want him back.
However because the movie did make a profit, FOX studios are willing to give the film’s makers a chance to present a sequel concept/treatment/screenplay. If this presentation excites them enough, they’ll go ahead with the sequel. If it doesn’t…
Then again, the DVD/BluRay of the film will be released soon enough, and if that proves to be a success they might just warm up to the sequel idea a little bit more.