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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Neighbors-2-poster
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Produced by Seth Rogen
Evan Goldberg
James Weaver
Country of origin United States
Release date May 20th, 2016 (United States)

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is an upcoming American comedy film, set to release on May 20th 2016. It is the sequel to the 2014 film, neighbors. The film will star Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Selena Gomez, Carla Gallo, Ike Barinholtz and Lisa Kudrow.

Plot

Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) are trying to sell their home in preparation for the arrival of another baby, and have purchased a larger house out in the suburbs. A couple, the Baiers (Sam Richardson and Abbi Jacobson) are looking to buy, but the realtor (Liz Cackowski) tells Mac and Kelly that their house is in escrow for 30 days, during which time the buyers can withdraw with no financial penalty if they discover anything unsatisfactory with the house. Like the Radners, Mac's friend Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and his once-again wife Paula (Carla Gallo) are expecting a baby.

Somewhere on college campus, a group of freshmen girls are gathered at a welcoming meeting for the sorority Phi Lamda. One girl, Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), sparks up a joint as the Phi Lamda president (Selena Gomez) is speaking. She tells Shelby to put out the joint and says that according to the Greek system laws in the US, sororities can't throw parties on their own properties, so they just attend fraternity parties. That night, Shelby meets two other freshmen, Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein), and attend a frat party, but they're all disgusted by the perverse nature of the party. They go back to their dorm to smoke weed, but are caught by the RA (Kyle Mooney), who scolds the girls for taking drugs. Shelby stands up and says it's unfair. They decide to create their own sorority, Kappa Nu.

Meanwhile, Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) has a dinner gathering with his roommate/best friend Pete (Dave Franco) and his old Delta Psi frat brothers Scoonie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Garf (Jerrod Carmichael). Since graduating, Scoonie has launched his own app, Garf has become a cop, and Pete has become a successful architectural designer and has come out without telling Teddy first. Teddy hasn't been able to get a decent job, since his antics as a frat boy in the previous movie led to him acquiring a criminal record (which he blames on the Radners). Pete's boyfriend Darren (John Early) then proposes to Pete, and he accepts. After the excitement, Pete asks Teddy to move out of the apartment now that he's engaged. Teddy agrees, hiding his heartbreak.

The Kappa Nu girls meet with another realtor (Billy Eichner) to rent the old Delta Psi house next to the Radners, but it is way too expensive for them to afford. Teddy, who earlier had snuck into the house in order to seek emotional refuge there, appears from the darkened living room and offers to help the girls. He tells them to take their money and put it on the down payment, and he will come up with plans to earn them enough money needed to pay for the house, which he says would equal about five buckets of money for a month's rent. Soon the girls move in and throw their first party. Mac and Kelly see it and are horrified to learn that their new neighbors are a hard-partying sorority. They ask Shelby to try keeping the activity down for the next month until their sale is finalized, but Teddy appears and informs the Radners that he is in cahoots with the sorority, meaning they will have trouble preventing the buyers from discovering this and pulling out of the sale.

To get the sorority out, Mac and Kelly call Shelby's father (Kelsey Grammer) to deal with her, but her dad backs off after Shelby confronts him and insists that she is trying to be independent. Shelby, Beth and Nora then declare war against the Radners for snitching on them. The sorority begins pranking the Radners, using their sexuality as weapon. All the girls invade the Radners' front lawn physically (and sexually) harassing Mac as he tries to get into his car to work, and latter pelt the Radners' windows with menstrual blood-soaked used tampons. They also create a noise disturbance by throwing wild parties and even crying loudly when they have a viewing party for The Fault in Our Stars. Mac and Kelly report them to Dean Gladstone (Lisa Kudrow), but she refuses to do anything because Kappa Nu is an independent sorority outside the control of the college administration.

Mac then gets Jimmy to help him retaliate by infesting the whole house with bed bugs, forcing the sorority girls to pay for an exterminator to fumigate it, reducing their budget down to only two money buckets. In need of money fast, the girls decide to sell marijuana to the students at the school's tailgate party that weekend. Teddy expresses his displeasure with the scheme, saying they're making the same mistakes he made years ago. The girls ignore him and secretly text each other to vote him out of the house. Shelby then anonymously calls the police to inform on the other weed dealers on campus, giving Kappa Nu a virtual monopoly of the cannabis market.

After being evicted, Teddy decides to switch side and join forces with the Radners (plus Jimmy and Paula) to take down the sorority, and they all go to the tailgate event disguised as students. Teddy distracts all the girls by dancing topless on stage, while Mac runs around stealing the weed in a garbage bag. Teddy loses the crowd's attention when he goes too far and decides to whip out his genitals, and Shelby notices Mac committing the theft. A heated pursuit then follows, and Mac eventually manages to dispose of the weed by throwing it out to the assembled crowd for free. The sorority girls then retaliate by sneaking into the Radners' house and switching Mac's and Kelly's phone numbers with their own, and then send fake text messages to Mac and Kelly, leading each of them to believe that the other is on the verge of leaving them. Kelly thinks Mac is hiding somewhere that only Jimmy knows, so she and Paula confront him at work to interrogate him on his whereabouts. She finally manages to contact Mac, only to discover that he has travelled to Sydney, Australia thinking she had fled there. When he gets back, Mac and Kelly find their home robbed during their absence by the sorority, their furniture sold on the street and the house spray-painted with "Kappa Nu" on the walls. This causes the Baiers to pull out of the deal, leaving the Radners in financial jeopardy.

Without enough money to pay the rent, the girls face eviction. Shelby decides the only way they can raise enough money in time is to abandon their previous standards and resort to hosting a basic frat party with more sex appeal. They advertise the party to everyone on campus, leading to more people showing up and paying for entry to the house. Mac, Kelly, Jimmy, Paula and Teddy watch and then plan to shut the whole thing down. Jimmy and Paula sneak into the party while Teddy tries to switch off the power. Teddy gets into the electrical box, but the girls have a backup power source. Jimmy ends up getting roofied after drinking the party punch (so does Nora) despite Teddy's warning. Shelby breaks into the Radners' house and steals their phones so they can't call the cops. Mac and Teddy chase her to the garage, but Shelby tricks them and locks them in there. They resolve to break out by ejecting themselves through the ceiling vent using the airbags from an old car. Teddy goes first but misses and hits his head hard on the ceiling. Mac then jumps and misses as well, but manages to ram down the entire door with his body upon impact.

Mac and Kelly watch, initially thinking they've won, but then start to feel sorry for the girls after realising how young and vulnerable they are and that their friendship is at risk. Kelly shouts to the girls and encourages them to reconcile and go back to what they believed in before they sold out, and the girls then kick the frat boys out to have a normal party. This attracts all of the Phi Lambda girls, who want to pledge for Kappa Nu. By the end of the night, the girls make enough money not only to keep the sorority house, but also offer to rent the Radners' house as an overflow property for the parties. Mac and Kelly happily agree to be the landlords, as long as they get paid five buckets of money per month. Three months later, Teddy is helping with Pete's wedding, having found a role as a popular wedding planner primarily for gay couples. Mac and Kelly have now moved into their new home, bringing home their new baby girl, Mildred, to join Jimmy and Paula with their new son.

Production

Development

By early February 2015, a sequel to Neighbors was in development, with Nicholas Stoller set to return to direct. Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien returned to write the film, along with Stoller, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg.[1] The film follows Mac and Kelly joining forces with Delta Psi frat leader Teddy to take on the sorority girls who move in next door. Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron returned to star. The film was initially scheduled to begin principal photography in mid-2015.[2]

Casting

In July 2015, Chloë Grace Moretz joined the cast,[3] and the title was revealed to be Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.[4] On August 4, 2015, it was confirmed that Carla Gallo and Ike Barinholtz would be returning for the sequel.[5] On August 7, 2015, Beanie Feldstein and Kiersey Clemons were added to the cast to play Moretz's character's sorority sisters.[6] On August 13, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Dave Franco would return for the sequel.[7] Selena Gomez was seen filming on set.[8] Lisa Kudrow was also spotted filming, along with other cast.[9] By September 24, 2015, Billy Eichner had joined the cast of the film.[10] The same month, it was revealed that Hannibal Buress and Jerrod Carmichael had been cast in the film, reprising their roles from the first film.[11] Clara Mamet and Nora Lum also joined the cast.[12] On November 18, 2015, it was announced that Cameron Dallas had joined the cast.[13] In December 2015, it was revealed that Abbi Jacobson had also joined the cast,[14] followed by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Liz Cackowski, and Brian Huskey, all reprising their roles from the first film.[15]

Filming

Principal photography began on August 31, 2015, in Dunwoody, Georgia,[16][17] and ended on October 29, 2015.[18] In March 2016, Moretz was spotted filming reshoots in Los Angeles.[19][20]

Post-production

During post-production, Lena Dunham, LL Cool J, and Cameron Dallas's scenes were all cut from the film.[21][22][23][24]

Release

On February 6, 2015, Universal Pictures scheduled the film for release on May 13, 2016.[25] However, on July 27, 2015, the film was pushed back one week to May 20, 2016.[26]

Reception

Box office

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising has grossed $54.8 million in North America and $45.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $100.6 million, against a budget of $35 million.[27]

In North America, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising opened on May 20, 2016, alongside The Angry Birds Movie and The Nice Guys, and was projected to gross $35–40 million from 3,384 theaters in its opening weekend.[28][29] The film grossed $1.7 million during its Thursday night previews (lower than the original's $2.5 million) and $8.7 million on its first day.[30] In its opening weekend the film grossed $21.8 million, less than half both the previous film's opening ($49 million) and projections, and finished third at the box office behind The Angry Birds Movie ($39 million) and Captain America: Civil War ($33.1 million).[31]

Internationally, where it is known as Bad Neighbours 2, the film will be released in a total of 56 countries.[32] It was released in 16 markets on May 6, 2016, where it earned $8 million in its opening weekend. The United Kingdom and Ireland posted the top opening for the film with $2.4 million, followed by Australia with $1.8 million and $1.5 million in Germany.[32]

Critical response

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising has received generally positive reviews from critics.[33][34] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 62%, based on 169 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising may not be strictly necessary, but it still wrings a surprising amount of humor from a recycled premise with a distaff twist."[35] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 58 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[36] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade earned by its predecessor.[31]

Mike Ryan of Uproxx gave the film a positive review, writing, "In a world in which so many comedy sequels fail, here comes a comedy sequel that isn’t just 'as good as the first movie,' it’s even better."[37] The Guardian awarded it two stars out of five, saying, "This pretty routine follow-up has some decent material and amiable bad taste, heavily diluted with gallons of very ordinary sequel product: more of the same."[38]


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