It’s rare when an actor with Jason Bateman’s stature in Hollywood admits that a project just didn’t work. That said, Bateman did just that when it was brought up on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.
Maron has a wonderful way of getting actors to open up in a candid way that usually doesn’t happen during sit down television interviews. During the podcast, Bateman admitted that Horrible Bosses 2, the sequel to the wildly funny and popular Horrible Bosses, just didn’t work out.
Bateman even compared the Horrible Bosses sequel to “garbage.”
At the time, he explained, “A lot of people saw the first one, but there are plenty of films that made a lot of money where no one is interested in seeing another one. People just weren’t interested in seeing another one. ‘We saw the first one, we had fun, and I don’t need to go see a second one.'”
Later on in the conversation, Bateman said that the audience was to blame. He jokingly said that it was the audience’s interest in the first Horrible Bosses flick that led to an underdeveloped sequel.
“Don’t go out and buy a bunch of tickets for the first one unless you want a second one, ’cause we don’t have any discipline in this town. It’s a path of least resistance.”
As for why he agreed to the sequel, Jason Bateman was honest and said that he did it for the money, which means he wasn’t exactly thinking about the creative stamina a sequel could have.
“That’s a paycheck for everyone. Everyone’s getting paid. It’s a freebie.”
The end result showed, with both critics and the audience at the box office. The 2011 film made $209.6 million and the sequel to Horrible Bosses made $106.6 million.
Of the film’s earnings, he said, “The second one was garbage as far as box office goes. Who knows whether it was on the merits or when they released it, but it did not do any money.”
That said, Bateman didn’t blame the poor box office on his fellow actors.
He remembered telling his cast and the production behind the film, “We can’t just make it suck. Everyone’s gonna know it’s a layup, but let’s at least try to make it hold up to some cynical scrutiny.”
He added that dropping a rated R film during the holiday season was poor decision making, and that could be blamed on Warner Bros.
“It’s just a question of, did anybody really care?”
[Photo Warner Bros.]