It seems like Disney has become the home of every franchise under the sun, but one popular franchise has been seemingly ignored by the studio and the director of that franchise thinks that's a mistake. Jon Turteltaub, whose new film The Meg is set for release later this summer, was recently asked about the long-rumored third entry in the National Treasure franchise and while it seems the studio may not be entirely against the idea, he claims that Disney just thinks other franchises would be more successful, and thus National Treasure 3 is being ignored. Turteltaub respectfully disagrees with this strategy, saying...
When National Treasure first got made, there was a lot more money to go around. Everybody got paid nicely. The problem with getting the third one made isn't the people who are getting paid saying, "I'm not doing it unless you pay me a lot!" It's really that Disney feels they have other films they want to make that they think will make them more money. I think they're wrong. I think they're right about the movies they're making; they're obviously doing a really good job at making great films. I just think this would be one of them, and they don't quite realize how much the Internet is begging for a third National Treasure.
It's been over a decade since the second National Treasure movie was released back in 2007, but based on the numbers, Jon Turteltaub's comments to Collider seem right on the money. The first National Treasure that saw Nicolas Cage and company stealing the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives grossed over $350 million around the world. The sequel, released three years later, outdid that number by a cool $100 million. Those certainly aren't the box office numbers of a franchise that's cooling down.
Of course, back when Disney was making National Treasure movies it didn't own Marvel and it didn't own Lucasfilm, and those two studios have been making films that have regularly grossed more than your average National Treasure movie. Disney is certainly suffering from an embarrassment of riches in the box office department and while another studio might sell its soul for a National Treasure: Book of Secrets level hit, the fact is that Disney has an expectation that they'll do even better.
While it seems a National Treasure 3 script was never finalized, one was in development and far enough along that Jon Turteltaub believes a little more work could have brought the story to where it needed to be.
Certainly, the National Treasure franchise was quite popular once, but is the internet really begging for a National Treasure 3? You tell us in the poll below.