David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ended up not being as big a hit as hoped; the film is stumbling at the box office, and it may barely break even on its 90 million dollar budget (which is the number before prints and advertising, and Sony spent a lot on marketing). But even with a mediocre showing in theaters, Sony says they're still moving ahead with a sequel.
“[Dragon Tattoo] continues to do strong business and nothing has changed with respect to development of the next book,” a Sony spokesperson told Entertainment Weekly. Steve Zaillian had already started work on adapting the next book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are already locked down. The studio has the film penciled in for the end of 2013.
Assuming they do keep going with development (and remember, studios rarely cancel their sequels while films are still in theaters - it discourages attendance and DVD sales. That's why Disney 'greenlit' a Tron: Legacy sequel), they will probably have to find a new director. While David Fincher hadn't officially decided if he was coming back he seems like the sort of filmmaker who might avoid the sequel if the original didn't kill. But that's just a hunch - maybe he'll decide that he wants to see this thing to the end.
I imagine we'll know by this time next year if the film is actually happening. Apparently Dragon Tattoo is earning high CinemaScore ratings, meaning the people who do see it like it; perhaps Sony is blaming the underperformance on Dragon Tattoo fatigue, and hopes that people will be over the previous versions by 2013.