They're coming back. That's the premise of the new film, Independence Day: Resurgence, which takes place twenty years after 1996's Independence Day. The aliens of the first movie are returning to Earth to stage an even larger invasion, hoping to make up for the loss they suffered two decades ago. The spectacle sci-fi film is bringing back a number of stars from the first film, and is undoubtedly one of the most-anticipated films of the summer. But will there be another Independence Day movie, an Independence Day 3 ?
There might be. It's too early to tell, but if Independence Day: Resurgence does well at the box office, then fans could very well see a third film in the series — and it probably won't take another twenty years to arrive. But how likely is it that the film will perform well? It has a lot to live up to, that's for sure. The 1996 original broke the record for biggest opening weekend ever at the time of its release, besting the numbers put up by Jurassic Park three years earlier, and finished its theatrical run with $817.4 million in box office receipts, second only to... Jurassic Park (it's currently ranked 55th all-time). '90s sci-fi nostalgia is at an all-time high right now, with Jurassic World briefly owning the highest opening weekend record last year on its way toward becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of all time. So given how intertwined Jurassic Park and Independence Day are, could ID: Resurgence perform as well as Jurassic World ?
It's unclear. As of right now, the film is expected to finish second at the box office in its opening weekend after Finding Dory, which will be entering its second weekend. Current estimates put it around $50 million for the weekend, which is about the same amount the first movie earned in its opening frame. Comparatively, Jurassic Park scored $47 million in its opening weekend in 1993, while Jurassic World opened to $208 million last year. In other words, Independence Day: Resurgence needs a miracle to make Jurassic World-type money. Now, the movie certainly doesn't have to match Jurassic World's $1.6 billion worldwide haul to earn a sequel, but it will need to earn a profit. And since the film's budget is a not-unsubstantial $165 million ($15 million more than Jurassic World cost to make), the movie will likely need to earn at least $500 million worldwide to even start chatter of a sequel.
But let's say that happens. Let's say Independence Day: Resurgence is a massive hit and makes a ton of money, is that a guarantee that a third movie will enter production? According to director Roland Emmerich, it kind of is. During a Q&A as guest editor at Empire, the filmmaker was asked flat out if there will be a sequel to Independence Day: Resurgence . "If it's successful enough, yes, because it's set up for a sequel," Emmerich said. "In 20 years? No, I wouldn't want to make it with a Zimmer frame!"
Since the director is into it, the fate of the Independence Day franchise ultimately rests at the box office. If the movie can somehow propel past a cartoon fish, find some staying power, and make a mothershipload of money overseas, then chances are fans will see an Independence Day 3 some time before 2036.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy