Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Licensing Expo 2016 Bits


The annual Licensing Expo in Las Vegas is always a big deal for one good reason.

First looks at animated movies, details, hints at things, stuff we've never seen before just popping out of nowhere...

This year's expo has delivered in spades already...

The images all come from ComingSoon and Collider.

First up, DreamWorks...

Before we start, we all know that Comcast is acquiring DreamWorks Animation at the end of the year, right? Well, that means future releases of theirs will be distributed by Universal Pictures. Right now, they still have to deal with 20th Century Fox, as their distribution deal with them is still set to end in summer 2018. Given the recent schedule shifts the other day, projects like How To Train Your Dragon 3 are still Fox titles.

Some reports have indicated that maybe a film or two have been dropped by Fox, and will be scooped up by Universal at the end of the year, when the acquisition is completed. We'll get to that in a second...

Anyways, we mostly got logos. One for The Boss Baby (which we've seen already, set to open March 31, 2017), and the other for How To Train Your Dragon 3 (opening May 18, 2018)...

Photo credit: ComingSoon

The big attraction here, however, is our first look at Captain Underpants. It was revealed back in January 2015 that Captain Underpants, based on the book series of the same name, would mostly be done at Mikros Image for a significantly lower cost than the other upcoming DreamWorks entries. As I suspected, it took on a painterly, 2D, Peanuts Movie-esque look. I like it!

Photo credit: ComingSoon

Very true to the comic illustrations, and with that I can only assume the budget will be somewhere between $70-100 million. Honestly, out of all their upcoming projects, this was probably the best one to outsource. No way should a movie based on Captain Underpants cost around $120 million to make! That's set for June 2, 2017.

Also on the Fox animation front, a cool-looking logo for Blue Sky's Ferdinand (based on, you guessed it, the classic story of the bull Ferdinand) has been revealed. That's opening next summer, July 21, 2017 to be exact. I reckon we'll get the teaser before Ice Age: Collision Course...

Photo credit: ComingSoon

One thing I immediately noticed... The Croods 2 and Larrikins, currently set to open between Captain Underpants and How To Train Your Dragon 3, are missing.

Now, it was reported by Deadline that Larrikins might be shifted from 20th Century Fox to Universal. Its release date (currently February 16, 2018) is also, according to those reports, likely to change.

As for The Croods 2, it's also possible that it could be picked up by Universal. Its absence here makes me wonder a bit... DreamWorks said their plan back in January 2015 - as a result of their major restructuring following two rough years - was to release two movies every calendar year, and while Captain Underpants is an outsourced project, I can kind of see them whittling their 2017 slate down to just two films. The Croods 2 still holds its dodgy super-close-to Episode VIII release date, and I'm surprised Fox hasn't moved that one yet.

Or maybe they won't... Maybe they don't have it anymore.

Either way, it's good to see some little updates, and Captain Underpants' animation style is satisfying. A better look at Boss Baby, opening three months before it, would've been nice though. Maybe a finished render of the character, or something.

On to Sony Pictures Animation...

Nothing major here except our first look at their nativity story The Star...

Image via Collider

A very pretty image, makes for a nice teaser poster. I wonder if they'll use that when the marketing campaign for that one starts up...

A look at Aardman's Early Man was there as well, indicating that a US distributor might just pick it up soon. It took forever for the British studio's previous charmer, Shaun the Sheep Movie, to get a US distributor. Lionsgate eventually got it, and released it long after its European opening with little to no fanfare. Let's hope that doesn't happen again with Early Man...

Image via Collider

Image via Collider

The environment looks great here, other than that there's not much else. Again, hopefully a bigger US distributor grabs it, and hopefully whoever gets it gives it a good release date.

Two more days to go after this... To be updated...

2 comments:

  1. You didn't ad the one of Hotel Transilvanya 3

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  2. A good US release date for Early Man would be 8/17/2018. A while ago, I had thought that the US rights could be picked up by Disney under the Touchstone Pictures label. What do you think?

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