In a summer that’s seen a few bruising flops, including some seemingly sure things wildly underperforming (“The Lone Ranger” will lose Disney nearly $200 million, while “The Hangover Part III” made dramatically less than earlier films in the comedy franchise), “Now You See Me” was something of a bright spot. With an original concept that was notably free of exploding city blocks, and without an A-lister to its name (veterans Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were the biggest actors involved), most thought it would be crushed by the competition, but the film performed above expectations, taking $115 million domestically, and about the same again internationally, on a budget at least half of most of its competition.
Although the film was fairly, fascinatingly terrible, we were curiously pleased it did so well: it was oddly likable in its awfulness, and box office success for a movie toplined by Playlist favorites like Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent can only be a good thing. So while its initial success was a surprise, the news from The Hollywood Reporter that Lionsgate are planning a sequel to the movie probably shouldn’t be.
It’s in its early days, so it doesn’t appear that a writer has yet been hired, and it’s unclear if director Louis Leterrier will return, or how many of the cast (which also included Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco) are signed to come back for a further installment. But production is penciled in for next year for a 2015 release, and if nothing else, it’s fun to kick around ideas for titles—”You Saw Me, So Now You Will See Me Again,” “…”Now You Don’t” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler Saw Me” are among those that’ve been suggested around The Playlist water cooler this morning, though our preference would probably be for the simplicity of “Now 2 See Me” (to be followed, inevitably, by “Now You 3 Me.“). Will Lionsgate have more luck than with their disappointing sequel to a sleeper hit “Red 2?” We’ll find out in a couple of years, it would appear.