Talk of a second sequel to complete what will become The Hangover trilogy has been circling ever since the second film, The Hangover Part II, took the box office by storm last May and did even better business for Warner Bros. than the first film.
THR are now reporting that the second sequel’s leads, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis, are close to finalising their contracts, and it’s expected that they’ll be seeing a dramatic increase in their wages.
The first film saw the leads taking under $1m. each, which is to be expected, when it was a pretty low-budget film that no one could really predict beforehand would do as well as it did. Following that success, turning a $35m. budget into north of $450m. worldwide, the principals’ salary increased for the sequel, taking $5m. up front and a portion off the profits, which saw their final earnings in the mid-teens, after the sequel took more than $580m., surpassing the half-billion mark and then some.
And now it looks like they’re getting a hike once more, with such good business expected for the finale, with their paycheques looking to be about $15m. apiece, plus the extra off the backend again after the film gets released, which, if all things go well, could easily see them with north of $20m. each. The trio are said to be presenting a united front in their negotiations, and clearly they’re being taken seriously, which is excellent. (I remember watching Galifianakis back in the day on that little-known show Tru Calling, and wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that he’d be taking a $15m.-plus contract in a matter of years.)
As Cooper updated last month, the third film is set to take place in Los Angeles, and is expected to deviate from the formula of the original two:
“I hope we’ll start shooting next September. I know (director) Todd Phillips is working on the script. We stuck to the formula in the second one but the third would need to close the trilogy. I think it’ll take place in L.A. and not adhere to the structure.”
And it looks like they could be going into production slightly earlier than anticipated, with the studio hoping for shooting to begin this summer, eyeing a release on Memorial Day 2013, which is the last weekend of May, giving it the same slot it opened in last year.
Incidentally, Fast & Furious 6 is scheduled to be released that weekend too, and whilst the target audiences are a bit different, it will be interesting to see how the box office results look that week (the figures would no doubt be huge), if they do both end up opening on the same weekend.
Co-writer Craig Mazin was hired to work on the script pretty much as soon as the sequel came out, and Cooper’s quote above suggests that Phillips has been working with him on it too, having co-written the second with Mazin as well.
The plot is understandably being kept under wraps, though Collider note that there are rumours circling that it will involve Alan (Galifianakis) escaping from a mental hospital.
The studio have recently had to put one of their expected blockbusters, Akira, on hold, as well as taking Arthur & Lancelot off the calendar completely, so it’s looking likely that they’ll want to push on and fast-track The Hangover Part III as quickly as possible. More as we get it.