Saturday, January 5, 2013

Move Over

Though these dates for the following four animated films were announced a while back, it seems like the studios behind them aren't sure where to put their upcoming films. Mainly DreamWorks, Sony Pictures Animation and Laika...

Sony Pictures Animation's computer animated Popeye film is scheduled for release on September 26, 2014. They got that date first, but all of a sudden, Laika's next film (currently untitled) was announced. It's also slated to open the same day.

The same situation will occur at the same timeframe in 2015. DreamWorks' B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations was originally given a November 6th release date, but the company wisely moved it to September 25th in order to get it out before Halloween. Guess what else is opening that day: Hotel Transylvania 2 from Sony Pictures Animation.

I have a feeling that there will be some movement soon. Who will move? Here's my theory.

Laika's untitled project will end up being given an August 2014 release, since ParaNorman was an August release. ParaNorman might not have done so well at the box office, but I don't think this will deter Focus Features from releasing the next film in August. It's still a lucrative time of year, and it's away from all the heavy competition. Sony Pictures Animation always settles for the late September release date since Open Season, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Hotel Transylvania were all late September releases.

In 2015, I think Sony Pictures Animation will also keep the late September spot. Again, Sony usually has that date and Hotel Transylvania 2 opening that day would make perfect sense since it has Halloween-themed material in it. DreamWorks' B.O.O. is of course about ghosts, where will that go? September 25th seemed like the perfect day to release it, unless they decide to pull a Don Bluth and go head-to-head with Sony's film. That would make it the first big duel in feature animation since All Dogs Go To Heaven opened against The Little Mermaid in 1989.

Animated films opening weeks away from each other is the norm nowadays given the amount of competing studios, but two films from rival studios opening on the same day? That probably won't happen, but where else will B.O.O. go? DreamWorks could release it in early-to-mid October and still score a hit. Maybe they'll move it to the beginning of September, so it has time to breathe before Hotel and then the two can go head-to-head before Halloween arrives.

That all being said, I think Sony will keep the late September weekend for both 2014 and 2015. What do you think will move? And where will these films be moved to?

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