This past weekend, Roland Emmerich's stunning effects-laden bonanza, 2012 reminded moviegoers of one thing: The complete and utter destruction of the world kicks ass! With a domestic/Canadian tally of $65 million and $225 million worldwide, 2012 made an awful lot of money, thanks in part to a premise supplied by an ancient Mayan calendar (however accurately or inaccurately it was represented.) It was no less than porn for the oblivion-seeking nihilist that rests within every one us.
Its weekend performance also achieved the status of being the best worldwide opening for a film not based on any sort of franchises established in other forms of media. However, measured up against other franchise films debuts, it bowed at No. 9, placed among good company, merely behind such franchise favorites as the Star Wars, Spider-Man, and Harry Potter films. (Harry Potter is still the king with this year's The Half Blood Prince's $394 million.)
What else is there to say about the end-of-the-world epic, in which John Cusack holds up a boom-box playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" to calm the Earth's seas and tectonic plates, eventually winning its love in a romantic ending where Cusack helps the Earth overcome its fear of flying with a trip to England? (Did I spoil something?!) Regardless, now off the heels of this success, Emmerich has firmly reestablished his title as the "King of Fake Apocalypse." With recent discussion of a sequel to one of his other huge, "all s*** gets destroyed" epics, Independence Day (or ID4) seemingly heating up, one must wonder if 20th Century Fox might be clamoring to get the Emmerich franchise back off the ground.
It was originally perceived in the mix of counter-PR, that Fox was simply waiting on word from Emmerich to begin getting the sequel (which was rumored to be titled ID4 Ever,) in the works, however, Emmerich has claimed that it was, in fact HE that was waiting on word from Fox. Now, it seems that Fox has issued a statement in which they claim unequivocally that "there is no ID4 sequel in development." WHAT? However, with this drama and a supposed issue over Will Smith's exhorbitant salary, it has not stopped Emmerich from discussing his plans for the ID4 franchise. In a recent interview with MTV, Emmerich states:
"What we want to do in the next – it's actually two movies – we want to do a bigger arc," he explained. "'Independence Day' was always like the king who leads his troops into battle against an evil force, and that stays like that."
That, however, was before the numbers had come in for 2012. Will they make the difference in realizing these ambitious plans? Emmerich is already a long-established commodity. Certainly an ID4 sequel would have been an auspicious project. However, given the inescapable hype and the hefty $200 million production budget, it would have been a huge stigma if this project had failed. (You hear that James Cameron?) It was a gamble that may have held Emmerich's marketability unofficially up in the air. Now that it has paid off, it might result in Fox coming back to Emmerich, hat in hand, ready to talk turkey. (With Thanksgiving just around the corner, no less.) I certainly would hope so, as I am nowhere near alone among fans who have been clamoring for a sequel to the inspiring (albeit not that deep) action-packed film that dominated 1996 along with the Spice Girls, Twister, and the Macarena.
Get it done, Fox! We're all just a little anxious to see Will Smith get back up there and whoop E.T.'s ass, that's all!