When a movie like Dredd, which has tons of grassroots fan support, is unable to get a sequel, it’s always remarkable the crap that Hollywood sees fit to continue. Today’s example is the news that we’re getting perhaps the most unnecessary, unwanted follow up of all time, Skyline 2. Yes, the terrible 2010 alien invasion yarn is getting another chapter, for some reason.
Latino Review reports that Beyond Skyline is in fact going to happen. It’s no surprise that Liam O’Donnell, writer and producer of the first film, is on board to direct this movie that is apparently happening. LR’s sources also say that Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Purge: Anarchy) is circling the lead role.
According to the report, this isn’t even really a sequel, but a reboot, sort of (this is in the same vein as the Cabin Fever reboot using the exact same script as the first film). Though Skyline ended with a kind of twist that is an obvious set up for a sequel, Beyond Skyline is going to be another story that takes place at the same time as the first one.
This is the same device used by The Purge sequel, The Purge: Anarchy. But at least that made sense. The Purge was hugely profitable, making $89 million globally against a $3 million budget. And Anarchy struck fast to capitalize on this success, hitting theaters almost within a year after the first film, while it was still fresh in the public consciousness.
Produced on a small budget, Skyline did in fact make money, but not a ton. It barely doubled its $10 million budget at home, racking up $21 million domestically (it did earn $66 million in total, which is why were getting this sequel). Though it covered expenses, it wasn’t exactly a hit, and it was one of the worst reviewed movies of the year (it currently sits at 15% at review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an 18% audience approval rating, neither of which are good). People liked The Purge, not everyone, but way more than this. And this much later, four years after everyone forgot about this train wreck, you have to ask, why now?
It’s so much easier for studios to churn out low-budget fare like this, where even a single solid weekend means they make money. With something like Dredd (which was admittedly a bomb at the box office), even with the fan support, the track record of similar endeavors is not stellar. For instance, when Firefly was cancelled, the ensuing fan clamor led to Serenity, the theatrical follow up. Even though it’s awesome, no one turned up, and it failed to make back it’s relatively modest $39 million cost. (It picked up $38 million worldwide, and though it has certainly made much more on home video, Hollywood is not known as being in this for the long game, they want immediate profits and returns, not gradual residuals.)
For now we’re doomed to get movies like Beyond Skyline, which is really too bad, because Grillo is awesome and way better than this. Then again, maybe it will be good. I’m not a fan of The Purge, but I totally loved The Purge: Anarchy, and honestly, I’m getting to the point where I’ll watch anything with Grillo. So what the hell, try to stay optimistic about this one and we will too. Deal?
And at least we have that Dredd: Superfiend web series on the way, which could be fun.