June is a rather peculiar month this year as it sees a roster of sequels – specifically, second installments – trying their luck at the box office. Some are quite timely, some are as late as 20 years. Some are highly anticipated, some would be lucky if audiences still even remember the original film. But sequels are a tricky business, as one can never really predict their fate based on a formula alone. Still, it’s fun to try. Here are five high profile sequels to be released this month; let’s see if we can predict what their future will be.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
The 2014 reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise was mostly panned by critics, but it earned almost four times its budget at the box office. Now, the Turtles are back to face the return of their enemy, The Shredder. And following an alien invasion above New York City, they join Master Splinter and their human friends, April O’Neill (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). Tyler Perry and Laura Linney co-star.
2nd Time Around: Well, no one expected the 2014 movie to perform that well. No one was quite sure why the first film exceeded box office expectations in such a way. But whatever it is, the team did their best to bring back what made the first movie tick with the audience. Megan Fox is back. Will Arnett is back. Two of the screenwriters are back. A new director is at the helm, but Michael Bay is still producing. So pretty much, most of the main ingredients are still there. And if people were flocking to see the film in spite of the what the critics said, chances are they will come back to see this one.
Independence Day: Resurgence
If you think the recent local hit Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 is late for being released 14 years after the first movie’s success, Independence Day certainly has certainly beat the record. It is coming out – get ready for this – a whopping 20 years after the first film. This time, the United Nations is creating a global defence programme, and assembled some military forces on the Moon, Mars, and Rhea to anticipate another alien invasion. However, the aliens have managed to send a distress signal and received back up in the form of a larger and more powerful battle fleet.
2nd Time Around: It is a bit baffling why the studio waited so long to make a sequel, considering the first film was a mammoth success. What’s even more remarkable is that they managed to bring back some of the key cast members: Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, and Vivica A. Fox. The question is, we don’t know how relevant these names are today – and the absence of Will Smith leaves a big, gaping hole in the cast roster. Liam Hemsworth has been added to attract a new generation of audience, but then again, we don’t know how powerful a crowd-magnet he is to carry the task all on his own. I’d say this resurgence might not make that much a splash.
Now You See Me 2
The uber cool bunch of magicians – known as the Four Horsemen – from the uber cool and riveting first movie, are back. Now they are recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet. Most of the principal cast members return, with the exception of Isla Fisher and Mélanie Laurent, who get a most welcomed replacement in Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Radcliffe.
2nd Time Around: This might be a case even trickier than the magic tricks these guys are pulling. The first film was a relentless rollercoaster ride of plot twists and surprises that by the time the main twist is revealed, some people thought it got a bit too much. Now, how will the team outdo themselves? It’s a soar or sink situation. Trying to cook up a grand plan even more twisted than the first film will result in either something totally mindblowing, or something that will make audiences think… meh, these guys are just trying too hard.
Thirteen years after the Oscar-winning hit Finding Nemo (but the story will take place only six months after Nemo), Pixar is giving the stage to everyone’s favourite sidekick, Dory, the forgetful blue fish. The lovable Dory suddenly remembers something from her childhood memories, and she sets out on an adventure to find her family, with the help of Marlin and Nemo.
2nd Time Around: The future of animated sequels almost always looks bright. One might doubt whether Dory is strong enough as a scene-stealer in the first movie, and whether people still remember her today, but let’s not forget the unseen factor… the voice behind the character. Ellen DeGeneres is one of America’s most beloved comedians and talk show hosts. Her long running The Ellen DeGeneres Show is among today’s most popular talk shows. So, we don’t have to worry about publicity. If Dory is less relevant today, Ellen certainly is not. Unlike her forgetful character in the film, Ellen would not let audiences forget anything about Dory.
The Conjuring 2
In this follow up to the successful (and seriously creepy) 2013 horror film, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga will reprise their roles as real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. This time, they travel to England to help a single mother (Frances O’Connor) deal with poltergeist activities in a house in Enfield.
2nd Time Around: We love horror films with good actors, and we love The Conjuring franchise for their unlikely choice of actors. We loved the presence of 90s indie sensation Lili Taylor in the first film, and we have the feeling we are going to love what underrated British actress Frances O’Connor will do with her role in the sequel. Of course, we can’t wait to welcome back the lovely pairing of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga – that goes without saying. But the one element that makes sure that these actors will be in good hands – hence, the movie will be in good hands – is that director James Wan is back at the helm. I’d say, the story might get darker in the sequel, but things are looking bright for the film.