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How Did These Movies Get Sequels?

The following five films aren’t the most obvious choices for second (and third) installments and yet they’re all coming soon, thanks in no small part to the power of international box office

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Kick-Ass 2 Aug. 16, 2013
Follow-Up To Kick-Ass, the 2010 black comedy about kid superheroes (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz) with no special powers.
Original’s Budget $30 million
Total Domestic Gross $48 million
Critics’ Average Grade B
Why It Got A Sequel For a movie to turn a profit, its domestic gross has to double its budget. Kick-Ass didn’t, but it earned an additional $48 million overseas, did robust home-video business, and generated significant cultural chatter. Plus, Chloë Grace Moretz, a virtual unknown in 2010, is now a star. So Universal greenlit a sequel. But will new cast member Jim Carrey’s outspoken objections to Kick-Ass 2‘s violence throw a monkey wrench in it all?

RED 2 July 19, 2013
Follow-Up To 2010’s RED, an action comedy based on the DC Comics series about Retired and Extremely Dangerous black-ops agents.
Original’s Budget $58 million
Total Domestic Gross $90 million
Critics’ Average Grade B
Why It Got A Sequel RED piled up $199 million in worldwide green, and Lionsgate/Summit sees TV-series potential in the brand. The studio is hoping RED 2 will reverse the one-and-done curse that’s plagued virtually every DC Comics-based movie for the past 25 years. Could Helen Mirren with a badass Gatling gun be all it takes to join Batman in the DC-franchise hall of fame?

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Aug. 7, 2013
Follow-Up To Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, director Chris Columbus’ 2010 adaptation of Rick Riordan’s popular YA fantasy novels.
Original’s Budget $95 million
Total Domestic Gross $89 million
Critics’ Average Grade C
Why It Got A Sequel Though sluggish here, Percy earned $138 million overseas (thanks especially to sparks in the U.K. and Australia) for a worldwide total of $227 million. And in an effort to attract new ticket buyers, Percy 2 has amped up the action, Jackson. And the wit. Says director Thor Freudenthal, ”There’s a humor in the books, an attitude that we’re going after.”

Riddick Sept. 6, 2013
Follow-Up To 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick (itself a follow-up to the 2000 sci-fi cult favorite Pitch Black).
Chronicles‘ Budget $105 million
Total Domestic Gross $58 million
Critics’ Average Grade C-
Why It Got A Sequel Two words: Vin Diesel. The buff baldy is part of Universal’s stable of valued stars due to the Fast & Furious franchise, and he used his clout to persuade the studio to distribute Riddick, a passion project. The risk is minimal for Universal, since Diesel’s company, One Race Films, produced and financed the film. And it did so on a much slimmer budget than its predecessor’s.

Hansel & Gretel 2 Date TBA
Follow-Up To This year’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, a revisionist fairy tale in the same ridiculous vein as Van Helsing.
Original’s Budget $50 million
Total Domestic Gross $56 million
Critics’ Average Grade D+ Why It Got A Sequel Critics savaged it, and U.S. audiences smelled the stench too. Yet through some act of witchy magic, H&G took off overseas, topping out at $170 million. Universal looked especially fondly upon its grosses in Brazil ($23 million) and Russia ($19 million), two of the world’s fastest-growing markets, and happily ordered up a second helping. (Jeremy Renner must be…thrilled?)