Next weekend will mark the first time Taylor Lautner’s box office appeal is truly tested. For the past three years the actor has been riding the buzz of the Twilight franchise, and while Robert Pattinson has had solo success outside the series with Water for Elephants and Remember Me, Lautner has only appeared in the ensemble comedy Valentine’s Day.
Riding the Twilight wave all these years has been a wise move as Lautner is now the highest paid teenage actor earning $7.5+ million per movie and has projects set up at Universal and Fox, but the release of Abduction may put an end to that. Or it may not, and we may get an Abduction franchise.
THR recently spoke to Lionsgate president Joe Drake who said he hopes to replicate the Bourne films by spawning an action trilogy.
“I know that Taylor and Lionsgate would both like to see this become a big franchise,” he said. “You know, we think it’s our Bourne. The story is set up where there’s a great character created in this, and so — with success — there’s lots of places we could take this story, for sure,” he added.
“I think we’re gonna get at least 2 or 3 movies out of this,” director John Singleton was quick to continue.
Talk of sequels on the eve of a big release is nothing new and is mainly there to generate buzz, but with Abduction‘s budget only around $40 million turning a profit shouldn’t be too difficult (or will it?). If Launter can attract 12%+ of the Twilight audience he’ll have a new franchise, and his other projects such as Stretch Armstrong at Universal will probably move forward. If not, he’s still got both Breaking Dawn movies, but will probably have to take a pay cut in future.