A little cyber-bird landed on my shoulder and whispered to me that not only has Disney been pleased with TRON Legacy’s box office take thusfar, but that a threequel — call it TR3N until an actual title is developed — has been green-lit, with details and teaser footage for the third film to be released on the DVD and Blu-Ray release of TRON Legacy and the re-release of the original TRON.
This doesn’t surprised me. TRON Legacy cruised past $300,000,000 world-wide box office, and still has several significant foreign markets — like France and Germany — to penetrate. World-wide box office is sure to crest $350,000,000 by the end of January, and stands a good chance of reaching $400,000,000 world-wide box office before the movie exits theaters later this year. That’s not including merchandise sales and eventual DVD/Blu-Ray sales, which will drive total profit ever higher. Having learned a bit about how Hollyweird keeps its books — while at the latest Superstars Writing Seminar — it became clear to me (based on current numbers) that a TRON threequel was all but inevitable. Only a seriously terrible opening weekend and/or seriously declining returns in the wake of a terrible opening, could have doomed the franchise. Neither of which happened.
I am therefore anxious to see what Disney has planned for the third film. I certainly hope they’ve got a decent writing team put together. Because TRON Legacy poses as many questions as it answers, and there will be some fancy footwork necessary to explain and/or tie up some of the loose ends that were left. I am sure the SFX will be there — as they were for Legacy, which was gorgeously rendered — but the writing will have to stand up in ways that it didn’t necessarily have to stand up in Legacy.
I said something similar after seeing the reboot of Star Trek. Having done the hard chore of re-introducing the franchise — as Legacy just did for TRON — now the real work begins. Telling a quality story that respects the success of the last film, while also building towards new possibilities. Handled properly and with an eye to arc, TR3N could open the TRONiverse up a great deal, moving us into new territory and expanding the franchise.
Here’s to hoping. End… no… BEGINNING of line!