There has been a bit of talk about how the new David Fincher film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been “underperforming” at the box office and because of that talk there is concern that the follow-up sequel films The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest might not get made. Sony Pictures has gone on the record to announce that the studio still plans to produce the second film Played with Fire. I, for one, am very heartened by this news because it seems unfathomable to me that the 2nd and 3rd films of this trilogy not get made.
According to Sony, the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, is still moving forward despite the lingering perception that Dragon Tattoo has underperformed. “[Dragon Tattoo] continues to do strong business and nothing has changed with respect to development of the next book,” a Sony rep tells EW. In November, Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal told us that The Girl Who Played With Fire was definitely a go, with a targeted late-2013 release date. But Dragon Tattoo, which has grossed $60 million in the U.S. since its release on Dec. 20, is being perceived as something of a box-office disappointment (although moviegoers are enthusiastic — it received an A from audience-survey firm CinemaScore — and it seems to be holding up well over time as it chugs toward the $100 million mark). Given the film’s merely decent performance, there’s been much speculation about whether Sony will now actually move forward with the sequel. But the Sony rep tells us that “development continues” on the sequel and Steven Zaillian is still working on the script as planned. So far no director has committed to the project (Fincher hasn’t yet decided whether to return), but according to Pascal, stars Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are both already signed up for the other two films. Last month Mara told EW she’d love to play Lisbeth again. “I don’t feel finished with the character,” she said. “I’m not ready to go back there yet, but I think by the time we start, I will be.”
I suppose I can understand from a business standpoint how it can be perceived that Dragon Tattoo is underperforming at the box office. In this day and age, if a film doesn’t open at #1 and doesn’t make $100 million in a short amount of time, then it’s generally considered a flop. I also understand that Dragon Tattoo opened up against a lot of other family-rated films and very likely wasn’t the movie choice for families looking for a movie to see on Xmas weekend. Dragon Tattoo may be in the 4th or 5th position on the box office chart but it is the #1 R-rated film on that same chart. No matter what, it should be noted that Dragon Tattoo is only the first of a trilogy of films. I really hope that we get all 3 films … it’d be a shame not to. Whether or not David Fincher returns to direct the sequels is unknown, but Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig have already signed on for the 2nd and 3rd films so I just really hope those films get made. My gut tells me yes, we’ll get all three … hopefully Sony will follow my gut.