World War Z greatly outperformed expectations this weekend by earning $111.8 million worldwide, which was both the biggest opening weekend in Brad Pitt’s career and (more importantly) the biggest opening for a non-sequel, non-reboot live-action movie since Avatar. You know what that means. Load up this gravy train with zombies and crash it into sequel town.
Paramount actively will turn to developing a sequel, studio vice chairman Rob Moore tells The Hollywood Reporter. [...] World War Z initially was envisioned as a trilogy, but those plans were shelved when the movie ran into trouble, requiring extensive reworking of the last act. Initially set to open in December 2012, the movie’s release date was pushed back to June, prompting many in Hollywood to anticipate a blood bath. [THR]
Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster have both expressed a desire for a sequel. That said, the budget for World War Z was supposed to be $150 million but ballooned to $190 million after reshoots. It may not turn a profit if domestic box office numbers stall or the rest of the overseas market doesn’t respond as enthusiastically as (for example) Korea did.
And hey, we already know one way they could approach the story from a different angle while staying true to the book: a Ken Burns style documentary! (This is the first time somebody has ended a sentence mentioning Ken Burns with an exclamation point.) Sleepy Skunk made the Ken Burns style World War Z video below for Film School Rejects. It imagines the story as something closer to Max Brooks’ oral history. Some of the audio is NSFW because when you have somebody impersonating Morgan Freeman, damn right you have them drop F bombs.