Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No one liked it and it didn't make that much money, so let's make another one! Percy Jackson and the Olympians to get a sequel.

Contrary to common sense, the critically-savaged (by me among others) and not-terribly successful Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is indeed getting a sequel. According to The LA Times, director Chris Columbus will merely produce this second installment, entitled The Sea Monsters. The principle cast members, including Logan Lerman, will apparently be returning. There are five books in the series, so if Fox can bring it a movie that costs less than the $95 million that the first film cost, and can gross equal-to or slightly more than the $226 million that the first film grossed worldwide (only $88 million of that was from domestic grosses), than Fox may have a franchise on its hands after all. I don't think I need to say what a sad commentary it is when even films that were barely financially successful and were loved by few are still getting sequels. At least Clash of the Titans made $496 million off a $125 million budget, while Tron: Legacy apparently sold a bunch of toys. We're getting perilously close to the tent-pole equivalent of Mannequin 2: On the Move. So many candidates for the Tomb Raider Trap...

What is worth noting is that this news makes Percy Jackson and the Olympians one of the few fantasy pictures that was released to cash in on Harry Potter to actually make it to round two. The decade has been littered with failed or under-performing fantasy films based on Young-Adult novels. We've seen The Golden Compass (which actually grossed $377 million worldwide, but at a cost of $180 million with only $70 million coming from US shores), The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, Eragon, and the recent likely non-starter I Am Number Four. Only the surefire smash that was The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Twilight (which was more teen gothic romance that action fantasy) got a part II. So, um, congratulations Percy Jackson. Next time, I dare... nay, beg you to do better...

Scott Mendelson

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