Setting aside our feelings about whether or not there should even be another installment in the Hangover franchise — as our own Jason Bailey already pointed out, The Hangover Part II was “the closest thing to a shot-for-shot remake since Van Sant’s Psycho” — we can’t help but blanch over the news that Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms are asking for $15 million a pop to reprise their roles in the third film. Bear in mind that’s $10 million more than the entire budget for the original movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, they’re likely to get it, too. Not only is Warners looking fill the gaping franchise hole left by the conclusion of the Harry Potter and Batman movies with a proven thing (the Hangover films have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide), but two of the big 2013 blockbusters that the studio was banking on — Akira and Arthur & Lancelot — have been put on hold due to budget reasons.
What do make of these salary demands? On one hand, given the insane amount of money that these films make, it seems only fair that the lead actors would be generously compensated for their work. But here’s what’s troubling us: while we wouldn’t rank The Hangover among our favorite comedies, the original film was entertaining to watch, and a lot of that had to do with cast chemistry and outrageous nature of the plot. The sequel was a stale rehash that did nothing to expand on the characters or move the story forward. While the third film will allegedly break out of the whole drunken-night-no-one-can-remember rut, we’d argue that at this point it has to be more about the payday for Cooper, Galifianakis, and Helms than anything else — which makes the prospect of watching them pal around on screen a lot less fun.
We’re curious: Do you feel the same way, or should it even matter?