Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro are back in the arthouse film, which may become a franchise.
Like almost every other movie this summer, "Sicario: Soldado's Day" is a sequel. However, it bears little resemblance to the onslaught of overgrown lizards, animated families, and Marvel brothers; it costs much less and gets much less gross. But what really distinguishes "Soldado" is that it should never happen.
Sequels are as old as the movies. Funny silent short films that often build on a continuous amount of characters. Rudolph Valentino followed "The Sheik" with the even bigger "son of the sheikh". Douglas Fairbanks went from "The Sign of Zorro" to "Don Q, son of Zorro".
In the earliest decades of sound, studios promoted franchises, The Thin Man (six titles), the Hardy Family (16 titles), dr. Kildare (16 films, as well as radio and TV series) and Ma and Pa Kettle (10 titles). Rarely did the studios manage to achieve great success: in 1944 Best Picture winner "Going My Way" immediately won the even better "Bells of St. Mary's" and won in 1942 "Mrs. Miniver" created " The Miniver Story "in 1950.
Sequel Power intensified in the 1960s when United Artists launched the James Bond films, the Italian Westerns by Sergio Leone, and the Pink Panther films. The studios, however, still saw sequels as an exception and not as a rule until 1974. "The Godfather Part II"
Published in 1972, "The Godfather" was a huge crowd pleaser success that won three Oscars, including the best picture. Two years later, his sequel was a hit; It also became Hollywood's first studio film with a title followed by a number. The following were "The French Connection", "American Graffiti", "Jaws", "The Poseidon Adventure", "The Sting" and "Rocky". Even "2001" led to "2010".
Today The most expensive films are made only because they have sequel or franchise potential, which limits the interest in dramas and other stand-alone projects. The global nature of movies often makes familiarity a disadvantage and an asset.
All this makes "Sicario: Soldado Day" really rare: a widespread sequel to a movie that cost $ 30 million and cost $ 89 million worldwide (adjusted). These figures are not embarrassing, but they are only modestly profitable – and they certainly are not the stuff for self-evident sequels.
The original "Sicario" was an independent production that was acquired shortly before Lionsgate in Cannes in 2014. Production started in New Mexico. It premiered successfully in Cannes 2015 and opened in 2,620 movie theaters after a two-week start in New York / Los Angeles, where it appeared on the opening weekend of The Marsian. It was opened at $ 13 million almost four times multiple times. It also became an award-winning contender with ratings better than several of the Oscar Best Picture nominees such as "The Big Short" and "The Revenant". Ultimately, the film received three craft nominations, including Roger Deakins for the camera.
Positive word-of-mouth offer, especially with a property that would not have been inappropriate in premium streaming: law enforcement on both sides of the border fight against drug cartels, with higher production values and outstanding performance. It also made a name for respected Quebecois author Denis Villeneuve, who later directed "Arrival" and "Blade Runner 2049". Similarly, scriptwriter Taylor Sheridan later wrote "Hell or High Water" and wrote and directed "Wind River" "For the sequel (Lionsgate sold rights to Sony) Sheridan is back along with leads Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro, but not co-stars. Lead Emily Blunt: She was outstanding in the first film, but decided that the sleeper hit "A Quiet Place" and took "Mary Poppins Returns." In addition, Deakins is missing, he is by the respected Dariusz Wolski, Ridley Scott DP on " The Marsian "and" All the Money in the World "replaces.
But it is the choice of director Stefano Sollima, who suggests why this sequel was made, is virtually unknown in this country, if he knows it , then it comes from "Gomorra", the Sicilian mafia TV series he staged mostly (based on a movie from 2008), which is now a Netflix hit. "Sicario: Day of the Soldado" has one sensibili which indicates a franchise. While reviews are modest this time, Sollima is credited with eye-catching story elements that could recur in future efforts.
Emanuela Scarpa / Sundance TV
The film is a US / Italian co-production, with an international release that has Most territories also open this week. It's another case of World Cup influences: There's room in the calendar, as the studios avoid months of releases.
Domestically, "Soldado" is expected to rise to under $ 20 million, but at a higher level than its predecessor wide opening. The bet is that even if the domestic auction ends at the same $ 50 million, foreign interest will increase.
Those who despair of the brutal dominance of sequels in studio release schedules may be encouraged in "Soldado". It will not take us back to the era of "Casablanca" or "Rear Window" when a great movie was enough. but it might suggest that original thinking can be enough to find rich ore.