Sequel Opportunity: 8 of the Fastest Follow-Ups in Film History
It took Universal all of three days last summer to greenlight a sequel to The Purge, the dystopian thriller that takes place during a 12-hour period of government-sanctioned lawlessness. Given the $34 million the movie made in those three days, the only surprise is that the studio didn’t get working on a sequel even faster. Just over a year later, The Purge: Anarchy is arriving in theaters this weekend. With a little over 400 days between original and sequel, The Purge is one the quickest sequel turnarounds by a studio in recent memory. We took a look back at some other rushed reunions that sped into theaters after the surprise success of the original.
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream writer Kevin Williamson never meant for Scream to stand alone. When he sold the original script, he included a treatment for a sequel. After Scream's surprise success, Dimension Films took him up on it. In June 1997, with Scream still in theaters, director Wes Craven gathered his stars again to begin shooting the follow-up. But before he could start filming, disaster struck: Williamson’s script leaked online and had to be completely rewritten. Craven said the process set them back two months, but the film’s release date didn’t move from December 12, 1997. In order to get everything done on time, Williamson was forced to pound out revisions in a trailer during shooting.
Critical take: “…Scream 2 [is] an obvious cash grab and attempt to build a franchise on top of meta-satire not strong enough to sustain itself for that long.” —Mostly Movies
Time after original: 12 months
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)