Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Another One Goes Big: Sony Animation Expands Slate
Sony Pictures Animation, much like many of the other big animation studios, has finally laid out a slate that goes to the end of the decade.
The studio had seen many changes and shifts after the fallout of the 2014 hack, shifts that sent some projects to development hell, others out the door, and some full steam ahead. The 2017 slate radically changed, gone were runner-ups like Genndy Tartakovsky's take on Popeye and Lauren Faust's Medusa, in were Emoji Movie: Express Yourself and the Nativity retelling The Star. 2018 now housed things like Peter Rabbit and an all-animated Spider-Man movie.
The slate used to end at that movie. Now, Sony Animation has dated five more films. Two in 2019, and three in 2020.
Box Office Mojo lists them like this...
07/26/2019 - Untitled Sony Animation Franchise
12/25/2019 - Untitled Sony Animation Franchise
04/03/2020 - Untitled Sony Animation Franchise
09/25/2020 - Untitled Sony Animation Franchise
12/11/2020 - Untitled Sony Animation Original
What do they mean by franchise? Movie franchises? Or films based on pre-existing IPs? Since it takes them roughly three years to do Hotel Transylvania films, I don't think Hotel Transylvania 4 is going to be one of these. So what else?
I've been wondering why a third Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs hasn't happened yet, maybe because Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have been so busy with other projects after the release of Cloudy 2, which they helped write. Cloudy 2, interestingly enough, didn't adapt the sequel to the book the first film is based on. That sequel book was called Pickles to Pittsburgh, so maybe a third Cloudy movie based on that book could be one of these releases.
I have a feeling the two 2020 franchise movies will be sequels to the 2017 releases Smurfs: The Lost Village and Emoji Movie, should those two do well at the box office. Or maybe the Sony Animation-branded Goosebumps 2, since that's apparently still a go. I mean, again, with "franchise" I think they mean sequels to movies, but it could very well mean films based on pre-existing IPs and franchises. If that's the case, well... Popeye is a franchise, and they're still working on that adaptation without Tartakovsky, so maybe that could be one of these? Or maybe that rumored all-animated Ghostbusters movie, or ALF, as they announced that they planned to turn that into a movie years back.
Now, as for the original... That could be anything. The near-Christmas release date is curious, but I think the runner-ups here are Genndy Tartakovsky's Can You Imagine? (if that's still even a thing), Kelly Asbury's long-delayed Kazorn and the Unicorn, the now Lauren Faust-less Medusa, or something we've never heard of before. Superbago was apparently still in development back in August 2015, so maybe that one?
Who knows, but they're being smart here. They're claiming the dates so they have them, but aren't announcing what exact movies will fill those slots. They would be wise to wait and see which ones are more than ready to move ahead, like Disney Animation and Pixar are and have been doing.
What say you?