According to Deadline Hollywood The Hangover trio Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms are ready to sign up for The Hangover 2. One would assume this is a given following the film’s success, although Deadline has revealed some behind the scenes details that nearly caused the sequel to collapse.
The Hangover was the comedy hit of 2009. With a budget of $35 million it managed to pull in nearly $500 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing R rated comedy ever. It also broke records by taking in $155 million on DVD/Blu-ray, which again is the highest grossing for a comedy.
Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms were initially paid less than $300,000 for the film; however Warner Bros. gave them a $1 million bonus following its success. With all of this money sitting in Warner Bros’ bank account and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy (what the hell?) the trio were in a position to make a few demands.
Even before The Hangover opened, executives at Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures had commissioned a script for another installment. Who knew it would take six months of headache-inducing negotiations to make it happen?
Finally, the participants have completed talks and are ready to sign deals to reprise. I’m told that Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms will each be paid in the vicinity of $5 million against 4% of first dollar gross. Director/producer Todd Phillips will be paid around $10 million against 10%. For Phillips, there are also escalators and bonuses that insure if the sequel does anywhere close to the original’s $467 million worldwide gross, Phillips will not make less than his income on the original. That meter is still running, and it has passed the $50 million mark.
If Helms can work things out with his NBC series The Office then filming could begin in October, for a Memorial Day weekend (May 30th) release in 2011. (No word yet on whether the baby has signed a deal. Apparently he is being rather difficult and is demanding a full time nanny plus an unlimited supply of chocolate breast milk.)