Lionsgate scored themselves a surprise hit with 2013's Now You See Me, a rare original film that audiences immediately took to. The illusionist heist flick earned $351M worldwide, with international receipts more than doubling what it made domestically. That should have told Lionsgate something, because the sequel Now You See Me 2 has underperformed overall with $241M, and again the bulk of it is from outside the U.S. So while the studio signed up director Jon M. Chu for Now You See Me 3 earlier this year, that's not likely to happen anymore. But a spinoff aimed at their devoted international audience? That makes more sense.
According to THR, plans are underway for a Now You See Me spinoff that will be targeted for Chinese audiences and will be a Chinese co-production. Leomus Pictures will co-produce the Chinese-language movie with story ideas being hammered out right now. Don't be surprised if they jump through hoops to bring in Taiwanese megastar Jay Chou, who played a key supporting role in the sequel as a member of the mysterious organization backing the Four Horsemen.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate and Leomus are also working on a sequel to Escape Plan, that dreadful Sylvester Stallone/Arnold Schwarzenegger prison drama that you likely forgot about. Why is that even a consideration when it made only $25M domestically in 2013? Oh...because it banked $112M overseas, mostly in China. Got it.