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'Now You See Me 3' possible release date: Updates on 3rd movie slated after Chinese spin-off's premiere?

From the trailer of "Now You See Me 2" | Photo credit: Lionsgate Movies/YouTube screenshot

It has been several years since fans heard updates about the future of the “Now You See Me” franchise from producer Lionsgate. This may have led some to think that the studio probably abandoned its plans to make “Now You See Me 3.”

However, it should be noted that Lionsgate previously confirmed it has quite a grand plan for the future of the movie series. Aside from “Now You See Me 3,” it was widely reported a few years back that Lionsgate is working on a Chinese spin-off film.

Now You See Me 3’ production, updates: 3rd movie announcement happens after Chinese spin-off?

The making of the spin-off movie was confirmed in 2016, over a year after Lionsgate also revealed that the planning for “Now You See Me 3” already started. The spin-off, THR reports, will be a collaboration between the Hollywood studio and the China-based production company Leomus Pictures.

If one would speculate, it seems unlikely to have “Now You See Me 3” and the Chinese spin-off title be released on dates close to each other. The second movie’s box office revenue was mostly generated in China. The Numbers reports that the 2016 movie earned more than $42 million in its opening weekend in China, which is almost double the numbers generated in the United States within the same period.

Overall, 80 percent ($269 million out of $334 million) of the second movie’s box office revenue came from the worldwide audience, with the Chinese moviegoers accounting for more than $97 million. Meanwhile, the US theatrical release of the sequel only garnered over $65 million. This means that China is an important region for the success of “Now You See Me 3.” And it would not be the wisest move to release the third film before or sometime close to the premiere of the series’s spin-off that will reportedly be filmed in China and with a cast of mostly Chinese actors.

Now You See Me 3’ release date and production updates are still elusive

Production updates have been scarce regarding “Now You See Me 3” and the Chinese spin-off of the magic-themed heist thriller series. However, the production studios involved in making these movies appeared to have given efforts in starting these projects as early as 2015. So until a report confirms that these titles will no longer make it onto the big screen, movie fans will just have to be a little more patient.

By Jess Ferrera
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