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The animated Rio crossed the $140-million mark at the domestic box office. It scored positive reviews (more than 70% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). And on Tuesday morning, it earned an Oscar nomination. All of those suggest the potential for a sequel, which we now hear is on the horizon.
OK, so the Oscar nomination was for Sergio Mendes’ original song “Real In Rio,” and not quite for the film’s vibrant animation. Yet it was Mendes who revealed to HitFix that Rio director Carlos Saldanha is moving forward on a sequel, and he might have come up with a natural tie-in to an actual, global event.
"I think the plan is for the movie to come three or four months before the World Cup," Mendes said. The 2014 World Cup takes place in Brazil, where the original Rio was set. "Fox has been talking about (it) and it looks like it's going to happen. We're going to have a meeting I think next week and Carlos is coming to town to tell us the story, and it looks like it's a go."
Fox studio reps did say that no script deals have been set, but it sounds like the ball is rolling. Far worse animated sequels have received sequels. Many go right to DVD, so this is a step up for Saldanha’s colorful creation. He’s also extremely versed in the franchise game, having co-directed the Ice Age films. I’m actually surprised at how those films have held steady – and even improved – with each new film, so let’s hope Rio 2 expands on the bird-centric universe … and offers up another kick-ass soundtrack of Brazilian dance tunes.