Reflecting on The Hangover franchise with the benefit of hindsight, actor Zach Galifianakis has conceded that the two middling sequels that followed the 2009 sleeper hit should never have happened.
At the time, Todd Phillips’ box office smash went on to become the biggest R-rated comedy of all time, pulling in close to $470 million worldwide. Such success naturally gave Phillips and Warner Bros. the impetus to fast-track a sequel, though both it and the derided The Hangover Part III in 2013 served up a classic class of diminishing returns critically and financially. By that point, the Wolfpack had lost their charm.
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History has taught us that comedy sequels are a difficult feat to accomplish in that they often lead to recycling old jokes to little effect – 22 Jump Street is the shining exception to the rule. Five years ago, The Hangover Part II essentially churned out the same plot as its predecessor beat for beat, and it quickly became apparent that Phillips’ ensemble comedy should have remained a one-and-done affair.
It’s something Galifianakis addressed himself during a frank interview with ScreenCrush, admitting that while he doesn’t openly regret taking part in the much-maligned Part II and Part III of Phillips’ trilogy, he’s aware that The Hangover should not have been spun out into a franchise: “Look, that was a good chunk of my life that I do not regret at all but I wished we had just done one. I think leave well enough alone sometimes.”
Acknowledging Hollywood’s tendency to reboot existing properties, the actor then joked: “I mean, in 10 years when all this dries up I’m sure I’ll be knocking on people’s doors, ‘Hey, I got this idea… look, I’m still weird!’ We’re contracted up to 12. I feel a real appetite out there for more.”