Is a Kick-Ass Sequel Really a Good Idea?
It seems like only yesterday we were sitting around the office wondering what went wrong with Kick-Ass, the story of a downmarket superhero that did mid-market business (at best) at the box-office. But $96 million worldwide -- plus whatever it has coming to it on video -- is reportedly enough for a follow-up to the modestly-budgeted original. Or so its source's author says.
Talking to reporters both here and abroad, Mark Millar explained that Lionsgate and Co. were roughly nine months away from production on a Kick-Ass sequel -- a sequel that original director Matthew Vaughn was thought to have spiked even before he and Kick-Ass screenwriter Jane Goldman hooked up with X-Men: First Class. Which isn't to say the 'Gate couldn't or wouldn't bring someone else in, but Millar says they don't have to: Vaughn and Goldman are just knocking out their little comics blockbuster and will be right back for Kick-Ass 2! As Mel Gibson is fond of saying, "What?"
Furthermore, Millar crunched the numbers:
"The estimate is [Kick-Ass] will do 100 to 150 million on DVD based on the American sales," related Millar. "So it'll end up making a quarter of a billion on a 28 million investment. So It should be okay. So the sequel's greenlit, we can go ahead and do the follow up now, you know. The first made so much compared to what it cost it would be crazy not to."
I don't know where anybody gets a projection of $100 million or more based on 1.4 million units sold in the first week, but on a statistical level alone, the question isn't about the first film's profit margin. It's about the next film's profit margin -- whether or not the business, as it were, can grow. At least they -- SPOILER ALERT -- won't have Nicolas Cage's salary weighing down the sequel, but Vaughn won't be cheap (if he returns, which I'd bet a six-pack he won't), and Millar conveniently leaves out P&A costs -- how you couldn't walk 10 feet or drive one mile in some cities without some Kick-Ass ad staring you in the face. That's also not cheap.
Also, in a rare outcome for a comic-book flick, the film made a tad more domestically than internationally. That was with Cage, who opens a hell of a lot better than Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Anyway, if Piranha 3D can get a sequel after a $10 million opening, then surely Kick-Ass can get one after a $19 million opening, no matter how much more its hype promised at the time. Call it Canton's Law. Thanks for nothing, fella.
· Kick-Ass 2: are fans in for a long wait? [Guardian]