Is ‘Horrible Bosses 3′ Happening?

Movies


The Big Picture

  • Horrible Bosses 3
    may still happen despite the disappointing sequel and negative response.
  • Horrible Bosses 2
    ‘s failure was partially due to its release date.
  • The success of Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis in their recent projects could generate more interest in a third film now than before.


Great comedy sequels are few and far in between, as trying to replicate the success of an initially successful concept can prove to be challenging within the genre. It’s hard to craft a forward-thinking comedy sequel that doesn’t simply reiterate the same jokes as its predecessor, as sometimes “too much of a good thing” is possible when it comes to humor. Given the relatively few original comedies that have been successfully released in theaters amidst the pandemic era, the prospect of new comedy franchises emerging feels even more unrealistic. Although 2011’s Horrible Bosses had a great concept that successfully balanced its star power with dark humor, its 2014 sequel proved to be a massive disappointment. However, the strong work done by the principal cast and crew in the subsequent decade indicates that Horrible Bosses 3 may still happen one day.


Horrible Bosses

Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.

Release Date
July 8, 2011

Runtime
98 minutes

Main Genre
Comedy

Tagline
Ever wish your boss was dead?



What Is ‘Horrible Bosses’ About?

Directed by Seth Gordon, Horrible Bosses centers on lifelong best friends Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale Arbus (Charlie Day), all of whom have a miserable employment experience due to their abusive supervisors. Nick is bullied by the greedy financial manager Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Kurt is disturbed by the wild behavior of the eccentric chemical company owner Bobby Pellit (Colin Farrell), and Dale is harassed by the oral hygienist Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). While the issues that the characters face are purposefully exaggerated, Horrible Bosses presents a relatable scenario that most employees could relate to. Anyone that has ever dealt with an undesirable boss could empathize with the predicament that Nick, Kurt, and Dale find themselves in.

Although it begins as a somewhat straightforward workplace comedy, Horrible Bosses infuses dark humor in a manner that’s uncommon in most mainstream studio comedies. After consulting with the eccentric criminal Dean Jones (Jamie Foxx), the trio of friends decides to kill each other’s bosses in order to advance in the workplace. Given that none of them are professional criminals, the attempted assassinations go hilariously awry in what feels like a much darker spin on Office Space. The clever script by screenwriter John Francis Daley and Johnathan Goldstein managed to add legitimate suspense to the heightened comedy thriller.


Although the first film surpassed expectations and became a commercial and financial hit, Horribles Bosses 2 fell short of expectations and underperformed in comparison. Despite a duo of hilarious performances by new cast members Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine in comedic roles, Horrible Bosses 2 failed to find the right blend between raunchiness and sincerity. While the first film had managed to present a fairly realistic setup that gradually got more ridiculous, the sequel took the franchise into a world of corporate espionage and kidnapping that lacked the same relatable quality. Earning both negative reviews and over $100 million less at the global box office than its predecessor, Horrible Bosses 2 seemingly cut short the franchise before it had the chance to begin.

‘Horrible Bosses 3’ Could Still Happen

Donald Sutherland, Colin Farrell, and Jason Sudeikis in Horrible Bosses
Image Via Warner Bros.


Despite the extremely negative response that the film received, the Horrible Bosses 2 cast seems to regret appearing in a disappointing sequel. In an interview with Marc Maron, Bateman admitted that the second film “was garbage as far as box office goes.” While he admitted that the film itself had its creative struggles, Bateman cited the Thanksgiving release date as the primary reason that the sequel underperformed in comparison to its predecessor financially. It didn’t seem likely that an R-Rated comedy sequel would perform well during a holiday weekend where audiences were going to see films with their families. He also admitted that while the first film had done surprisingly well, “people just weren’t interested in seeing another one” given how conclusive the first installment was.

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While the failure of Horrible Bosses 2 may have eroded any good will that the series may have earned, Day has expressed interest in returning for a third installment in the franchise. While promoting the highly underrated romantic comedy I Want You Back, Day admitted that he’d “love to do” a third film and he “would jump at the opportunity to do anything with Jennifer again.” Day stated that it was a “blessing” to be a part of the franchise, as he has had only a few rare opportunities to appear in live action comedies due to his commitments to playing Charlie on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

It’s the Right Time for ‘Horrible Bosses 3′


While releasing a new sequel a decade after the previous installment hit theaters may seem like a financial risk, Horrible Bosses 3 could take advantage of its casts’ success in recent years. Bateman’s star power has advanced due to his acclaimed dramatic turn on Ozark and hit podcast SmartLess, Day has continued to play an essential role in the record-breaking success of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Sudeikis has now wrapped his Emmy winning role in Ted Lasso. While each of the stars likely to have other commitments, their recent success could generate more interest in a third Horrible Bosses film than it would have had right after the second movie’s release.

It’s the perfect time for a third entry in the series, as R-Rated comedies are making a comeback at the box office. While many comedy films were released straight to streaming during the early days of the pandemic, the breakout success of raunchy comedies like Anyone But You and No Hard Feelings suggests that the genre still has significant potential to appeal to a mass market audience. The brilliant premise of Horrible Bosses could certainly inspire a number of spinoffs with new characters. However, it would be particularly exciting to see the entire ensemble reunite for a new cinematic installment that makes up for the mistakes made by Horrible Bosses 2.


Horrible Bosses is available to rent on Prime Video in the U.S.

Rent on Prime Video



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