The Predator hit theaters this past weekend, and while it was the #1 film at the box office, things weren’t exactly great. It made $24.6 million domestically, with $30 million overseas – which isn’t really a bad haul – until you realize the film’s budget was noticeably higher than the other films in the franchise at $88 million.
For example, Predators (2010) had an almost identical opening at $24.7 million, but was budgeted at $40 million and made $127 million worldwide. Had this film featured a budget in that range, it would be looking at a profit. The new film, however, faces an uphill battle to even break even.
It would need to make somewhere around $2-300 million worldwide (depending on who you speak to) just to break even when all is said and done, and even if it does, with the 20th Century Fox and Disney merger set to be completed in the near future, we’re not sure Disney would even want to make another movie after the results of this one. Reviews didn’t help matters either, as the film currently has a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes.
It’s not as though the franchise doesn’t have its fans, however, as $24 million isn’t a small number for a movie to make. It’s just not enough for a big franchise that The Predator was clearly meant to start. Shane Black has even mentioned potential plans for sequels, saying:
“I think it’s part of the task to always leave room, just like leaving room for dessert. But at the same time, unless you very firmly have in mind your pre-planned and pre-structured trilogy or sequel, it’s important to focus on the movie at hand and not get lost, like day one of a movie and you’re already planning the wrap party. It’s important that we get this one right.
But of course we would leave room for continuing this, because as I mentioned, the Predator seems to have this uncanny longevity in the zeitgeist that people like new iterations of it, they like the hunting aspect of it, they break down every aspect of whatever costume he’s wearing this time and make toys of it. It’s strange, but it’s so longstanding and won’t go away.”
He also even hinted at a trilogy:
“I would love to say we’ve been planning a trilogy, but I take one day at a time,’ says Davis. ‘In motion-picture terms that’s one movie at a time.”
The Olivia Munn controversy didn’t help matters either – but it didn’t exactly seem to hurt things, as the film made about what it was projected to make. It just looks as though only the longtime Predator fans came out to see this one. I mean, the only one they didn’t really come out to see was Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem – but in the case of that film, we all know why.
So assuming The Predator doesn’t make back its budget – what could be next?
Well, just because there might not be another Predator movie (any time soon at least), that doesn’t mean there isn’t a future for the character. It’s been rumored that there’s an Alien series in development, and if that happens, there would definitely be a market for a Predator one as well, as seen by the box office numbers. You just have to wonder what role Disney would play in all of this.
Could they sell the rights to these characters outright? I can’t imagine an Predator or Alien series (two properties that need to remain R-Rated) would fit into their upcoming streaming service – but then again, stranger things have happened. Hopefully the franchise doesn’t remain dormant for 8 years again, but ultimately, with the way things are playing out – that might be what happens.