The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was always going to be a tricky sell to a mainstream audience, what with its hard R-rating and lengthy running time. However, MGM were probably hoping for better than the loss they’ve ended up with.
The studio told Deadline that despite taking $231 million worldwide, the film still ended up, “below our expectations, and we booked a modest loss.”
This of course will have a knock-on effect for planned sequels The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest , both of which are still scheduled to go ahead, “assuming we can achieve better economics”.
That may well lead to the studio opting against re-hiring David Fincher to direct, although that in itself would cost MGM $5 million, as Fincher currently holds an option of the first sequel, said to be his favourite story of the trilogy.
Whether or not Fincher stays (and given that he and the studio were reportedly at loggerheads throughout much of Dragon Tattoo ’s production, it’s extremely possible that he may not) it’s likely that The Girl Who Played With Fire will have to come in at significantly lower than the $90 million budget that had initially been bandied about.
MGM will likely wait to see how the film performs on DVD before pulling the trigger, but for now, a Fincher-directed trilogy is far from a done deal…