Magic freaks our minds, Blaines our Davids, and occasionally puts money into Jesse Eisenberg’s bank account. One other trick up Magic®’s sleeve? It can produce an unlikely spinoffs.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Lionsgate is teaming with China’s Leomus Pictures to co-produce a motion picture spinoff from the Now You See Me series. This summer’s sequel was a hit in China and debuted with a very impressive $43.3 million opening weekend haul. That total dwarfed the U.S. opening weekend rake-in, which was a much more modest $23 million.
The success of Now You See Me 2 with Chinese filmgoers will be reflected in this new cinematic offering. The film will be a Chinese-language production complete with a largely Chinese cast. It’s been stressed that the upcoming film will fit in with the franchise.
“We’re working closely with Lionsgate on the story,” Leomus Pictures CEO Jie Qiu tells THR. “And a Hollywood writer will be involved to make sure the spinoff is aligned with the Now You See Me franchise and has the same level of quality.”
Opinions are a bit mixed about the “level of quality” the Now You See Me movies actually provide, but this announcement could have a significant impact on how China and the United States approach major motion pictures. Not every Hollywood film gets the green light for China (see: Ghostbusters), however we continue to see offerings that attempt to cater to that lucrative market. This could potentially mean a new way of going about franchise building where a market like China could have their own spinoffs of American fare. Or it might be nothing. That’s the magic of the entertainment industry.