The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was not a hit. In fact it lost money. We're not talking John Carter levels here, but it made less than co-finaner MGM wanted. There's still money to be made on home video - the DVD and Blu just came out - but the film itself is a disappointment.
So will there still be sequels? In a call to investors today MGM's CEO Gary Barber said a big fat maybe. The company has interest in adapting the next two books in Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy, but only if it can make financial sense. According to Barber, MGM is in talks with Sony about continuing the franchise “assuming we can achieve better economics.” Which sounds like 'Make the next one cheaper.'
That's not the modern sequel model; most big budget sequels cost more than their predecessors. And David Fincher movies can cost a penny or two as well. So what does this mean for the next two movies in the series, should they get made? Will MGM want to bring in a cheaper filmmaker than Fincher? Will Fincher use this as an excuse to move on to a new project?
Alternatively I guess Sony could pony up more money; I know the studio is hot to make the sequels. Maybe this time they won't release them at Christmas.