Surly Squirrel and Buddy the rat are back!
Yeah, that didn’t mean anything to me, either.
Granted, I don’t have small children, but I only vaguely remember that “The Nut Job” was a thing that existed, and I do this for a living.
The 2014 animated comedy wasn’t even a tremendous success, pulling in $64.3 million at the domestic box office and another $56.6 million internationally, according to boxofficemojo.com. Yet that isn’t keeping “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” from hitting theaters this weekend.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some other movies with surprising sequels in the works. In many cases, you’ll see why now more than ever overseas markets are determining what sequels you’ll be assaulted with down the road.
■“Johnny English Reborn” (2011)
$8.3 million domestic; $151.8 million international
Rowan Atkinson’s secret-agent spoof was a Double-O Dud in America, even more so than 2003’s “Johnny English” and its $28.1 million take. But thanks to foreign audiences, production on “Johnny English 3” began last week, ensuring that the spy will be stumbling into a theater near you sometime next year.
■ “Shaun the Sheep Movie” (2015)
$19.4 million domestic; $86.8 million international
Maybe it’s a British thing, but when the beloved children’s TV series made the leap to the big screen, the reception in America was baaaaaaaad. Pre-production on the sequel, though, began in January.
■ “Gnomeo and Juliet” (2011)
$99.9 million domestic; $94 million international
With apologies to Elton John, who executive produced and contributed the soundtrack to this animated story that blended Shakespeare and garden gnomes (as most movies should), I couldn’t think of a logical reason to make a sequel. Apparently neither could the filmmakers, so they’re having Johnny Depp voice an investigator of missing gnomes in next year’s “Sherlock Gnomes.”
■ “The Strangers” (2008)
$52.6 million domestic; $29.8 million international
It’s taken a decade for this low-budget horror movie about a couple tormented by three masked intruders to get another installment off the ground. Much like last year’s long-delayed “Blair Witch” sequel, though, there’s a danger that when it’s finally released in 2018, no one will care.
■ “London Has Fallen” (2016)
$62.5 million domestic; $143.2 million international
I couldn’t believe they made a sequel to the generic “Olympus Has Fallen” ($98.9 million domestic; $71.3 million international) in the first place. But since foreign audiences embraced “London Has Fallen,” we’re getting “Angel Has Fallen,” in which “Angel” is the code name for Air Force One. So, basically, it’s going to be “Air Force One 2.”
■ “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)
$100.2 million domestic; $270.3 million international
This was one of my favorite movies of 2014. Despite the allure of seeing Tom Cruise die — over and over again, and in terrible and hilarious ways — American moviegoers just didn’t show up. Maybe it was the awful title that made it sound like a 1960s soap opera. Unless he’s making “Mission: Impossible” movies, though, Cruise remains a much bigger draw abroad, which is why a sequel/prequel is in development.
■ “Pacific Rim” (2013)
$101.8 million domestic; $309.2 million international
Co-writer and director Guillermo del Toro practically designed this spectacle of giant robots battling enormous monsters for global markets. The four robots, or Jaegers, hail from the U.S., China, Russia and Australia, and much of the action takes place in Hong Kong. The move paid off as “Pacific Rim” earned $114 million in China alone, helping it eke out enough to justify next year’s “Pacific Rim: Uprising.”
■ “Boo! A Madea Halloween” (2016)
$73.2 million domestic $1.6 million international
This one’s solely on us, folks. As much as some of us like to blame bad things on foreigners — some of us enjoy that far too much — the only reason “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” is set to be released Oct. 20 is the gullibility of American moviegoers.
Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence @reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.