now you see me sequel

Surprise hit heading for $275 million

Lionsgate has started developing a sequel to surprise hit “Now You See Me,” thanks to strong international performance.

CEO Jon Feltheimer made the disclosure Friday morning during a call with analysts following the release of better-than-expected earnings for the studio’s first quarter ended June 30.

Feltheimer noted that foreign grosses for “Now You See Me,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Mark Ruffalo, have now exceeded the domestic gross. The thriller, directed by Louis Leterrieri, has hit $255 million wordwide with the foreign total at $140 million, topping the  domestic cume of $115 million.

Feltheimer said he expects the final worldwide total to top $275 milliion. He added that “Now” has grossed $20 million in Russia and another $25 million in Latin America via Lionsgate’s IDC joint venture — generating three times the profit it would have had the studio sold the markets for mininum guarantees.

“This is a perfect example of how we’re benefiting from the unique international infrastructure of output deals, joint ventures and self-distribution we’ve set in place to maximize value and minimize risk,” Feltheimer said.

Russia is the largest international market for “Now,” followed by the U.K. at $15.5 million.

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