Opening opposite The Avengers seemed like a bad idea for the arthouse ensemble dramedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. And in reality, it was. While Joss Whedon’s mega-massive blockbuster banked $207 million in its opening weekend, Marigold earned $737,051 (in 27 locations, mind you, but still). But Marigold didn’t completely disappear-- and in fact, it's now taken its surprise success on the road to a sequel.
Now it sounds like Fox Searchlight is actively pursuing a follow-up to the winning film, asking screenwriter Ol Parker to deliver a treatment that it involves the principle members of the original cast. If you had asked me to list 10 movies from 2012 that would have spawned a sequel, Marigold would have landed somewhere near No. 57, and yet, the decision makes a lot of sense. The original film, budgeted around $10 million, went on to earn a wildly successful $134.3M internationally, making it a huge hit for Fox Searchlight. The studio’s currently shopping the film for awards consideration, and it’s possible one of the elite members of the cast could break through into a critics’ group’s conversations.
Vulture, which breaks the story, says that the bulk of the cast “all wants to come back,” from Dame Judi Dench to Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith. And really, if you managed to catch John Madden’s feature – which followed a gaggle of Brits as they attempted to vacation at an off-the-beaten-path Indian resort – you know that you’d be willing to follow this graceful, funny and endearing ensemble virtually anywhere. Vulture goes on to point out several of the projects in the works that focus on older cast members. But for now, we’ll see where a Marigold sequel takes the audience. For now, consider us in.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.