Did you really think that Summit Entertainment was going to sit around and wait for first-weekend receipts to get a Twilight sequel underway? Of course not.
As Nikki Finke reports, the as-yet uncompleted soundtrack is already in Amazon’s top five bestselling albums based only on pre-orders and, in fact, any licensed item related to Twilight is turning into a license to print money. That’s related to a film that cost about $40m, which means that Summit’s name is soon going to be a factual description of the pile of cash the company will perch atop. Call it $80m with P&A factored in, and the first film is still cheaper than any Harry Potter film’s production budget. (Sorceror’s Stone was $125m, Order of the Phoenix was $150m.) So, yeah, Summit is already going ahead with number two.
The only question here is who will return from the cast and crew of the first film, and by that I mean specifically Catherine Hardwicke. Most of the actors are signed for multiple pictures, but she is not. If Twilight kills both on a finanacial (expect nothing else on the weekend of Nov. 21) and cultural level, expect her to be part of the sequel machine, especially since she delivered the first one so cheap. (That machine, incidentally, could create simultaneous sequels, as MTV reported months ago.)
But if the fans don’t dig the feel of the movie, or if the film drops off after the first weekend in a way that can be attributed to disatisfaction with the way the material was handled, expect a new helmer to be announced post-haste.
(For the record, I’m pulling for Hardwicke, and based on reception of the material so far don’t think she’s got much to worry about.)