Neighbors is already one of the big winners of the summer. It opened to $49 million, knocking superhero heavyweight The Amazing Spider-Man 2 out of the number one position back in early May. It has gone onto gross $134.2 million in the states, and a hefty $213.5 million worldwide off an estimated $18 million budget. It's a solid earner, and a sequel makes sense. But producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg aren't sure they're ready for a follow-up.
Speaking at the Produced By conference this weekend, the writing partners and producing duo gave an update on their upcoming slate, revealing that they have taken numerous meetings about a Neighbors sequel. At this time, they remain undetermined on whether they want to make a second one, and are more focused on getting Jazz Cops off the ground. /seth-rogen-and-kevin-hart-may-team-for-buddy-cop-comedy/Announced in late April, this period comedy will star Seth Rogen and Kevin Hart as the first black and white police officers ever paired on any force. They go undercover to infiltrate the Jazz scene.
While at the conference, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg mainly talked about the lessons they have learned in the business. They claim that working on the 2011 flop The Green Hornet actually helped them learn how to cut a budget and avoid too much interference from the studio. They utilized this method on Neighbors, cutting its budget in half to ensure their creative freedom.
Said Seth Rogen,
"There's a point where you have to say 'Stop'. On Neighbors we played the studio game, and continually received notes and waited for the call that movie would go forward. We stopped, had a real moment, and cut the budget in half - which it turns out was the factor stopping the project (from proceeding forward) in the first place. Essentially, we assess, what's the most amount of money we can make this movie for, for the most amount of go-away (from those giving it to us. We've been good on our budgets."
An actor, writer, director and producer on most of his films, Seth Rogen also talked about test screening and how its become an integral part of the process.
"We also test the shit out of our movies because you can scientifically calculate what is funny and what is not, and that's why we shoot a number of alternative scenes. Hopefully we get to a place where every jokes works. We're testing a movie in a week for a big joke to see if it might work."
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are currently prepping and testing their October comedy The Interview, which stars James Franco, Seth Rogen and Lizzy Caplan. They also have their Untitled Christmas Eve Project, and the animated Pixar spoof Untitled Christmas Eve Project in the works.