When The Purge came out this past summer, no one thought it would be one of the most profitable films of 2013. However, when you consider its $3 million production budget, that fact that it grossed about $90 million worldwide means it was a huge moneymaker. It’s also perfectly reasonable that Universal automatically green-lit a sequel for summer 2014. The big question surrounding The Purge 2 is: will the new film make anywhere near as much money, especially when you consider the original’s low critical and audience response?
Universal Pictures announced that The Purge 2 will open on June 20, 2014. When the original was released, the genre hybrid film saw very little competition at movie theaters across the country. It opened against The Internship and smaller indie fare such as The Kings of Summer, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, and Violet and Daisy.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see why The Purge was a success. The sequel, however, will open opposite the follow up to Think Like A Man and Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys. So The Purge 2 will open against the sequel to a bona fide box office hit and the film adaptation of a massively popular Broadway musical. I don’t think The Purge 2 can survive the 12-hour window of its Friday opening day.
The Purge 2 also opens one week before Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction and one week after 22 Jump Street and How To Train Your Dragon 2. Both movies were bumped up from March releases to summer spots. The Purge 2 might get lost in a sea of other would-be profitable sequels.
The Purge took place in a dystopian alternative future where once a year a 12-hour period occurs where all crime is legal. This gives American citizens the opportunity to kill, murder, and rape others. The annual “Purge” also keeps unemployment and poverty at an all-time low because the wealthy can afford security and protection, while the very poor are left unarmed and vulnerable. The movie has a great premise, but the execution left much to be desired, so it’s going to be interesting to see where the filmmakers go.
When you consider The Purge’s 38% “Rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and its C minus CinemaScore, it’s completely unclear if audiences will return for another movie. Writer/director James DeMonaco will return to the sequel, which might be titled The Purge 2: The Zone. Production is scheduled to start in December, so Blumhouse Productions can take advantage of a $2.25 million tax credit from the state of California, if production starts before 2014. Such a short turn around doesn’t bode well as far as quality is concerned.
With genre movies like Insidious, Sinister, The Conjuring, and the Paranormal Activity films, Blumhouse is known for making low cost films that make a lot of money at the box office. They certainly appear to think they have another similar property on their hands.