By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 13, 2012 at 3:33PM
Earlier today, producer/enemy of quality Neal Moritz confirmed what anyone with a brain and cursory knowledge of the box office charts of early 2011 was aware of: a sequel to "Green Hornet," his Michel Gondry-directed, Seth Rogen-led superhero movie of last January, isn't happening any time soon. The film wasn't a giant flop -- it made a good-but-not-great $98 million domestically, part of a total $227 million worldwide haul. Not a bad number, but considering the movie cost $120 million plus whatever they poured into the extensive marketing campaign, the profit margin was likely razor thin.
But that being said, had it gone forward, "Green Hornet" wouldn't have been the first film deemed a disappointment to end up getting a sequel. Sometimes it's a face-saving move (as when Disney loudly announced development on a "Tron: Legacy" sequel, hiring a writer last summer, despite the film underwhelming financially), sometimes it's a lack of imagination, and sometimes it's a cunning bet that ends up paying nicely -- we're sure that when Sony greenlit "Resident Evil: Afterlife," the follow-up to "Resident Evil: Extinction," they weren't expecting it to double its predecessors $150 million worldwide take. Meanwhile, we're sure Universal didn't think "Fast Five" was going to be the biggest entry in the franchise to date.
As such, we've run down five sequels without an obvious audience that, like "Green Hornet 2," failed to make it to theaters, and five that, somehow, will be on marquees and bus shelters soon. It's a list that could have gone on for some time -- we don't know anyone who's really pumped to see "Wrath Of The Titans," "Men In Black 3" or "Red 2," for instance -- but these seem to be the most head-scratching incidents.
Five Sequels That Aren't Getting Made
"The Brazilian Job"
The remake of the beloved 1960s Michael Caine caper movie "The Italian Job" wasn't bad so much as it was aggressively pedestrian. But the film somehow managed to crawl over the $100 million mark domestically back in 2003, so Paramount pushed on with a Rio-set sequel, to be penned by David Twohy ("Pitch Black"). But with Charlize Theron winning an Oscar, Jason Statham becoming a star in his own right and Mark Wahlberg finding better things to do with his time, it never came together. And let's be honest, not a lot of tears were shed.
"The Topkapi Affair"
Back in 1999, the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair" by John McTiernan was a modest success with critics, and an even more modest success with audiences, taking $69 million at the box office. But somehow, backers MGM decided there was enough desire out there for a sequel, which would double up as a remake of another heist classic, "Topkapi." Paul Verhoeven was even announced as an unlikely choice of director back in 2007. But with Brosnan's star fading post-Bond, the film never moved forward, and Verhoeven left the project not long before MGM's financial problems seemingly killed it for good.