If you missed this week’s box office column, you might not yet know that Identity Thief became the first 2013 release to cross the $100 million mark … incredibly impressive for an R-rated February comedy.
The accomplishment speaks to the sustained drawing power of Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, who made a bankable duo playing a cyber con artist and the mark who risks it all to bring her to justice.
Sequel talk is already under way, as studio executives realize audiences want to see these two comedians on screen together again. But our question is: “Is an Identity Thief sequel the right vehicle for them?”
Those of you who caught the comedy (and that’s, oh, several of you, based on the box office results), know that the ending was pretty tidy, with McCarthy’s character coming to terms with what she’d done to Bateman and agreeing to serve jail time. Granted, sequels can be generated out of virtually no real material just to capitalize on the chemistry of lead actors. See Another 48 Hours for an example. (Better yet, don’t see it. It’s terrible.)
But stretching the narrative just to reunite Bateman and McCarthy might not be the best idea. Why not find an original script with a fresh premise and new characters that can be shaped to their talents? Audiences seem to like the way these two play off of each other. Give them something new to roll around with, and you have a better shot at duplicating the success of Thief.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours? It’s inevitable that Hollywood will get McCarthy and Bateman back together on screen. Would you like it to be in an Identity Thief sequel? Or would you rather they joined forces for a completely different comedic project, and hope for the same results? Let us know below.