Pineapple Express was one of Seth Rogen‘s biggest hits, raking in over $101 million worldwide on a budget of just $27 million. So you would think that Sony Pictures would have been chomping at the bit to get a sequel off the ground. Well, at one point the studio was very interested in making Pineapple Express 2, but in one of those reminders that the movie business is more about the business and less about the movie, Sony balked at the budget proposed by producer Judd Apatow.
Seth Rogen recently appeared on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM, and he confirmed why Pineapple Express 2 never happened, though the reason has been out there for years.
In the interview with Howard Stern, Rogen reminded everyone about the infamous hack of Sony Pictures that resulted in thousands of e-mails being leaked to the public. This resulted in tons of movie news about projects that never came together (like MiB 23), various movies that were in the works, and more. One of those movies was Pineapple Express 2. Rogen explained:
“I think we probably wanted too much money. We made the first one, no one got paid anything, and that’s why it was like a $25 million movie. And that’s why it became highly, highly, highly profitable. Because it was made really cheaply, especially for an action movie. Studios are just – they don’t like giving away money. Weird thing!”
Rogen’s memory serves him right. Back in 2014, The Daily Beast uncovered e-mails from the Sony hack that showed Judd Apatow has proposed a budget of $50 million for the sequel. But Sony Pictures executives wanted it brought down to $45 million. Apparently the $5 million difference was a dealbreaker for both of them, because discussions for Pineapple Express 2 never went anywhere after that.
Sequels often don’t make more money than their predecessors, especially comedy sequels. So Sony was justifiably concerned about spending double the money on Pineapple Express 2. But at the same time, in the grand scheme of Hollywood finances, $5 million doesn’t seem like enough to break the bank for a movie like that. Hell, they could probably make $5 million by having some kind of cross-promotion where weed dispensaries sell an official strain of Pineapple Express.
For what it’s worth, earlier this summer, Apatow said that he hasn’t lost hope about getting Pineapple Express 2 off the ground. However, since their ideas focused around the impact that legal weed might have on the characters of the original movie, it might not be as timely or relevant anymore. At least we got to see a makeshift sequel thanks to This Is The End:
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