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Thanks to the power of nostalgia, properties that were popular once are finding ways to make a comeback. The Jurassic Park series has evolved to Jurassic World, and we’re getting ready to meet four new Ghostbusters, just to give you two examples. However, not every old property expects to come back, especially if it isn’t a white-hot hit the first time around.
This weekend’s Zoolander 2 falls in to that category. Arriving in theaters 15 years after the original film’s release, the sequel returns fashion model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and his rival/partner Hansel (Owen Wilson) to the catwalk for a second adventure. Though, at the film’s New York premiere, Stiller admits it’s an adventure he never thought he’d take, because no one paid attention to the initial movie at first. Stiller told the premiere crowd, courtesy of Variety:
"I think we probably would have made a sequel right after the first one came out, if anybody had wanted it. Nobody went to see it. … It’s very easy to make a sequel to Transformers, to a movie that makes a gadzillion dollars, but it takes real cajones to make a sequel to a movie that grossed so little money the first time around.
Ben Stiller’s being humble, but he’s also being honest. Despite having Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell in the original comedy, Zoolander only banked $45 million domestically, and an additional $15 million overseas. Seeing as how Stiller was coming off the 2000 mega-smash Meet the Parents, Paramount likely had bigger hopes for the offbeat, quirky fashion comedy.
Instead, Zoolander found its audience on home video, where bizarre scenes like the Walk-Off could better be appreciated… because you can drink and smoke at home, but not in the theaters.
God, we still miss David Bowie.
So, Ben Stiller can take solace this weekend if, as is being projected, Zoolander 2 falls to Deadpool. Right now, the irreverent R-rated superhero movie is gobbling up all of the attention, making the Stiller sequel a bit of an underdog. But maybe that just means that, like the original, people will find Zoolander 2 on home video, or in streaming form, a few months or even years from now. And, of course, we can expect a third Zoolander to reach theaters in 2031. Reserve your tickets now.