Escape Room 3 is looking more and more like a non-starter, especially after Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, the second in the series, underperformed at the box office when it was released in July 2021.
The sequel netted $51.8 million to date, which is less than a third of the original Escape Room's $156 million taking. Of course, July 2021 wasn't the easiest time for cinemas, and given the movie's low budget, Sony might decide it's worth taking another trip to the world's deadliest indoor space.
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions certainly sets up a potential third movie with plenty of unanswered questions still to resolve – a decision director Adam Robitel made on purpose. "The worst thing I think we could have done is, like, given everybody the answers." (via TheWrap.)
With little to go on as far as actual confirmations are concerned, here's what we can glean about a potential Escape Room 3, how the sequel sets it up and what can we expect story-wise.
Escape Room 2 ending explained: How does it set up Escape Room 3?
At the end of the first movie, it looked like Minos were setting up Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller) for a plane-based escape room, but they avoid it by travelling to Minos' headquarters in New York City by driving there.
They don't escape the clutches of Minos for long though as they're soon trapped on an electrified subway train car with Rachel (Holland Roden), Brianna (Indya Moore), Nathan (Thomas Cocquerel) and Theo (Carlito Olivero).
Poor Theo doesn't survive this first game, but the rest head into a bank room filled with lasers which they all survive, before heading to a beach for a nice rest – not. It's covered in quicksand and the room sees two of the group succumb: Nathan and Ben.
During these rooms, Zoey keeps seeing references to somebody called Sonya, but of course, there's another room which is a city that's being hit with acid rain (naturally). Just as they think they've solved the puzzle, Rachel and Brianna are killed by the acid rain and Zoey finds herself falling into a child's bedroom.
It's revealed that the games have been based on a day out that Sonya had with her mother, who turns out to be none other than Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll) from the first movie. She never actually died from her fall and was forced by Minos to create these new escape rooms as they had abducted Sonya.
You know who also isn't dead? Ben. He's also in the room in a trap that starts filling up with water as a way to pressure Zoey into agreeing to work for Minos as their new game maker. This whole tournament of champions was to find the best of the best, in order to create more despicable games that can't be beaten.
Sucks to be Minos though as Zoey and Amanda team up to free Ben, before they all break out of the room and, understandably, head to the police. The news of what Minos has been doing is revealed to the world, although it's not clear if Amanda gets her daughter back as we don't see her again.
Zoey and Ben decide to take a plane home, but Zoey's suspicions about whether it's really over are confirmed as the plane starts filling with gas. Yep, it's another escape room and it's basically the same ending as the first movie, just with Zoey and Ben actually on the plane this time.
The third movie, if it happens, would likely pick up from this cliffhanger before Zoey and Ben are thrown into more deadly escape rooms, or maybe Zoey will agree to work for Minos to save Ben and work against them from within.
Interestingly, there's an extended cut of the sequel that's being released on streaming which doesn't feature the return of Amanda at all. Instead, it's the gamesmaster's daughter Claire (played by Orphan's Isabelle Fuhrman) who has come up with the latest rooms.
In a substantially different third act, Claire helps Zoey free Ben so the movie still ends with the same characters alive, but with a different cliffhanger as in a Saw-esque twist, we see Claire trap her own father in a deadly escape room and admit she killed her mother.
We imagine that if a third movie does happen, it'll pick up from the theatrical ending, but it's still an intriguing addition to the series.
"Does movie three pick up right on the plane, or is it going in a different direction? I like the idea of opening a movie with the people watching it, like the assholes who actually watch these games, like they should be thrown into an escape room," he said.
"Because they're the real problem, right? They're the rubberneckers, they're the ones in the Colosseum watching the gladiators be fed to the lions. So let's see them get their just desserts."
Or could it be that Amanda is actually in on the whole thing – and is Minos? "I'd love to open a movie with Deborah Ann Woll smoking a cigarette, like, as the plane crashes behind her," he joked.
Escape Room 3 potential release date: When can we expect Escape Room 3?
Since it hasn't been confirmed yet, there's no official release date for Escape Room 3. However, if we did get Escape Room 3, we can look to the sequel for guidance on timing.
Tournament of Champions was initially set for an April 2020 release; that's a little over a year from the first movie's January 2019 release. This date did get shuffled around a lot and at one point was set for January 2022 before being confirmed for July 16, 2021.
If it is greenlit, a return to the January slot feels more likely. We'll update as soon as we hear anything.
Escape Room 3 cast: Who's coming back for Escape Room 3?
Taylor Russell and Logan Miller would be back as Zoey and Ben in a potential third movie and now that she's alive again, we could expect to see Deborah Ann Woll as Amanda too.
Outside of that though, it's unclear who will be back as the rest of the sequel's main cast are dead – or so we think. Given Amanda's return, you can't rule out any former escape room contestants still being alive, so anybody could return, really.
Escape Room 3 trailer: Any Escape Room 3 footage yet?
As mentioned above, Escape Room 3 hasn't been confirmed by Sony yet, so it (probably) hasn't started filming and any footage is a long way away yet. Sorry about that.
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