Whether or not it actually happens, theVeronica Mars movie has earned its right to a sequel.
Opening weekend for the movie wasn't spectacular enough for Warner Bros. executives to sign up for a sequel immediately, but everything points to a solid debut for the caper starring Kristen Bell as the titular sleuth. The movie made $2 million showing in 291 theaters in North America. It was also released simultaneously on VOD, though those numbers haven't been released. "Our result starting with our Thursday fan events was $260K," Warner Bros. executive vice president of theatrical distribution Jeff Goldstein told Lindsey Bahr of Entertainment Weekly. "You add that together with our weekend for a total of $2 million from 291 theaters? That’s pretty significant."
When it comes to the finances of making a sequel, there are obviously still a lot of question marks. For instance, would a sequel be financed by the studio or by the fans again? We would hope the former, since a sequel would mean fans have proved that making more Mars is a viable financial exercise for Warner Bros.
Aside from the question of money, though, Veronica Mars proved that revisiting our old friends, and especially returning to Neptune, California, are worthy endeavors. Now, in order to discuss the possibility of a sequel, we're going to talk about spoilers from the movie. So if you haven't watched yet — and you care enough to yell at us if we spoil you — stop reading now.
Though Rob Thomas and crew tied up the movie's central mystery — who killed Logan Echolls' latest dead girlfriend? — in a nice little bow, it (purposefully, it seems) left other another plot line, the one involving Neptune class politics, wide open. When Veronica runs into her friend Eli 'Weevil' Navarro at her high school reunion, the former member of a biker gang is a reformed man with a wife and kid. During the movie, Weevil is shot by Celeste Kane, one of Neptune's elite, as he tries to help her. A gun is planted on Weevil at the scene to make Celeste's actions look like self defense. Later, Keith Mars and Deputy Sacks are hit twice on the road by unknown drivers, leaving Keith hospitalized and Sacks dead. By the end of the movie, Weevil rides off with the bikers we had thought he had swore off, and the viewers are left in the dark as to who attacked Keith.
The class tensions in Neptune have always been a fascinating part of the series. Just last week, Nolan Feeney at The Atlantic called the show one of "one of TV's realest depictions of wealth inequality." Those themes had to take a little bit of a backseat in the movie. As good as it was—and it was good!—it was an exercise in fan service, checking in with a variety of characters and dwelling for a little on Veronica's relationship with Logan, the great love of her life. Now that Veronica has decided to stay in Neptune, working at Mars Investigations, a sequel would give Thomas ample time to tell these other stories and more.
The movie proved Veronica herself is a character worth spending time with long after she left the world of high school behind; it also proved that Neptune is a town worth exploring even after these years. We'd go back again.