Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dog Day: 'Pets 2' Slated for Mid-2018, 'Rock Dog' Gets US Date/Distributor, 'Blazing Samurai' in Trouble?

A sequel to Illumination's current summer smash was as sure as the turning of the Earth, but what I did not expect was...

The release date. July 13, 2018...

A mere two years after part uno's release. Usually with animated sequels, the studios wisely finish them at least three years after the original. This has occurred with the Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Ice Age, and Rio franchises. Illumination's Despicable Me 2 debuted a good three years after the first one.

Not with Pets.

So will it be rushed... Or, or... Did Illumination know for a long while that Pets would be a sequel-spawning success. Perhaps they got the story locked some time ago, as their method - if you are willing to believe various interviews and reports - is to get the story determined first, then actually begin production on the movie. Maybe they had it in the can for a little while, who knows.

Either way, it's currently set to open in the summer of 2018.

Illumination schedule so far...

07/13/2018 - The Secret Life of Pets 2
11/09/2018 - Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
07/03/2019 - Untitled Franchise Film
07/10/2020 - Untitled Franchise Film

In other dog animation-related news, Reel FX/Mandoo Pictures' Rock Dog, despite its poor box office performance in China (caused by some interesting things), has locked a US distributor and a release date. Wow!

The date? February 24, 2017.

The distributor? Prepare to sound the Price is Right losing horn... Lionsgate.

Lionsgate doesn't have quite a fine track record with animation. Aardman's wonderful Shaun the Sheep Movie was dumped by them here and barely made a dent, Lionsgate also distributed a lot of slop that they barely marketed anyway. Will they beef it up and actually give Rock Dog some proper marketing? Or will they dump this one too?

Who knows.

Either way, it's dog day for animation... But one dog's possibly getting it rough.

Blazing Samurai.

Arc Productions (formerly Starz Animation), the Canadian animation house that was doing the animation for the film - a Mass Animation/Huayi Brothers co-production - has declared bankruptcy. As the Brew notes, there's no word on what's going to happen to the Blazing Saddles-inspire cats-and-dogs samurai western, as it's possible the production could be shifted to another house, but... 300+ employees not coming to work. Given how it all went down (workers not being paid due to a glitch the Friday before the Sunday shutdown), it all seems fishy, as usual.

Anyways, I hope for the best for the staff and the picture.

What say you?


  1. What are your predictions for the 2019 and 2020 Illumination movies, im not sure if they will be sequels... Maybe minions 2 and Johnny Express but i dont know if they are working on a fourth Despicable me

    But about secret life of Pets 2... Oh boy Illumination loves money

    1. My predictions are:

      Summer 2019-Johnny Express
      Summer 2020-Despicable Me 4
      Holiday 2020-The Cat in the Hat

      I also think that Legendary Pictures' Pokémon movie will be released through Illumination and that it's Legendary's 1/18/2019 release.

    2. They're listed as "Franchise Film", but that could mean anything. It could mean "sequel to a movie" (Despicable Me, Sing), and/or "movie based on a familiar IP" (i.e. Cat in the Hat)

      I think it'll probably be close to what SmashGod said. Original in summer 2019, Despicable sequel in summer 2020, and then something non-sequel after that. That is, if Universal/Illum nabs a good fall/holiday 2020 date.

    3. Also, consider this:

      In 2017, DreamWorks has three movies (one being outsourced) whereas Illumination has one.
      In 2018, DreamWorks and Illumination have two films each.
      In 2019, Illumination has one film whereas DreamWorks (currently) has two.

      By this, I can see DreamWorks releasing an outsourced movie in 2019 to go with Shrek 5 and Shadows. I also think that DreamWorks and Illumination will get two movies each in 2020. What do you think? I'm still not ruling out Pokémon btw.