There is a movie featuring Morgan Freeman, Steve Carell, Lauren Graham and John Goodman – among other fairly recognizable names. Released in 2007, it brought in only 57% of its budget at the box office, marking it a complete failure. This movie is also the follow-up to a film that made $484 million at the box office – a smash hit. So, what was the sequel missing that made it flop like a fish on land? The answer is simple: Jim Carrey.
As much of a failure that Evan Almighty was, it was easily the most successful of the four films that represent one of the worst trends that Hollywood upchucked since Kirsten Dunst. Let’s break down the decision process, shall we? Jim Carrey movie becomes a big success, the studio decides, “We want more money. Jim Carrey was the most integral piece of the movie, but he doesn’t want to come back for a sequel. Hmmm. Well, let’s do it anyway!” As if it didn’t sound like a ridiculous idea from the get go, three of these movies have no excuse being that they had three predecessors that already tried and failed at the old make-a-sequel-without-Jim-Carrey tactic.
Dumb and Dumberer came out in 2003. It served as a symbol of irony, being titled for how intelligent of an idea it was.
Son of The Mask was the second get-cash scheme that also failed to bring in profit.
God himself couldn’t save Evan Almighty from flunking with audiences in 2007.
And proving that they just can’t learn a lesson if it slaps them in the face, some genius producers greenlit Ace Ventura, Jr. in 2009 – and hid it on the Cartoon Network, deeming it too poor for theaters.
Doing some quick math reveals some staggering stats. Adding up the budgets to these Carrey-less sequels brings us to $311 million. Compare that to the $136 million that the Jim Carrey originals costs and you’ve already spent more than double on sequels that were as doomed from the start as a naked girl in a slasher film.
Adding up the total box office intake of the original Jim Carrey movies, you’ve got a large sum of $1.2 billion dollars. Yes, we are in the BILLIONS from just four Jim Carrey movies. How does that stack up against the sequels without him? Well, if you have a good sense of humor, you’ll get a kick out of the $269 million dollars they made. That adds up to a total of $42 million dollars thrown down the porcelain throne all because someone forget how important Jim Carrey was.
For the record, Jim Carrey has gone on record as saying that he prefers embarking on a new idea rather than returning to something he has already tried. That being said, the makers of the original Dumb & Dumber have set the ball in motion to try to get Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels back for a sequel… The actual sequel.
So, what did we learn here? When you have quite possibly the most animated human being on the planet star in your movies and make you over a billion dollars, it would probably a very bad idea to double the budget and drop the star of the movie. But, what do I know?