Friday, August 5, 2016
Shufflin': Fox Adjusts Animation Slate, Pushes Back 'Ferdinand' and 'Croods 2'
Fox quietly moved some of their family films around, two of which are animated...
First off, I think we all saw this one coming... The Croods 2 is no longer set to open on 12/22/2017, a weekend after the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII. Smart, smart move... But when is it opening? Sometime in 2018. No concrete date just yet.
This makes me wonder... Is it releasing after How To Train Your Dragon 3? (Currently set for 5/18/2018) Or before? If before, I have a strong feeling it could nab Larrikins' semi-current slot - February 16, 2018. A little while back, Deadline said that Larrikins, DreamWorks' eccentric Outback-set musical comedy-adventure, was "expected to" shift from Fox to Universal following the acquisition. That acquisition is set to finalize at the end of the month.
If anything, they're probably waiting for that. Once Larrikins gets picked up by Universal and gets a brand new date, it'll remain a TBD 2018 film. Once it gets the date, I say settle for 2/23/2018. 2/16/2018 is one week after Warner Animation's Smallfoot, and it's also the same day as Marvel's Black Panther. Space 'em out a bit, ya know?
Now, all seems okay, right? Well, for some reason, Fox thinks that the 12/22/2017 slot is fine for Blue Sky's next, Ferdinand. This could explain why we didn't get a teaser for that film before Ice Age: Collision Course. The Croods 2 is a sequel to a big hit, Ferdinand's a new take on a classic storybook. How many people are acquainted with the pacifist bull tale? Will the public want to see some movie about a bull when Star Wars is playing in the theater next door?
Pros... Blue Sky's budgets normally hover around the $90-100 million mark. That being said, Ferdinand can't perform like Epic, it's got to pull Rio numbers stateside and at least $250 million worldwide in order to be success. Blue Sky doesn't seem to demand too much out of their films in terms of the box office, so Ferdinand could go either way.
Oddly enough, a good comparison here is the last Alvin and the Hipmunks movie. Costing $90 million to make, Fox released that schlock on the same day as The Force Awakens, and it opened with a meh $14 million, a low for the series and a low for a family movie. But, despite how much we may not like this series, some audiences do. The film made 6x (!) its opening weekend gross, despite The Force Awakens next to it, and it nearly made $100 million domestically. If you haven't been here before, I work at a movie theater. I started back in August of last year, and throughout the holiday season I was mostly an usher, and we got packed houses for Chipmunks over the weeks... And audiences walking out as if they really enjoyed themselves. Yeah, the general public is not us fans.
So, Ferdinand. Maybe Fox has confidence that this family film will fare just fine against Star Wars, but here's the thing. Hipmunks is obviously for little kids, Ferdinand ought to be a good family film for all ages like a lot of Blue Sky's better works. The book's a classic (Walt himself even adapted it! Into an Oscar-winning short, no less!), and it should be pretty decent. Don't aim low, try to make this thing a hit!
Now that Ferdinand's set for late 2017, I'm certain Blue Sky's Anubis - currently set for March 23, 2018, same day as Sony Animation's progressing Peter Rabbit - will be pushed back yet again. (Originally, Anubis was set to open this summer on Ice Age 5's release date, until it was moved to spring 2018.) Anubis will probably end up in the late summer if Croods 2 heads for February 2018.
A rough idea...
12/22/2017 - Ferdinand
02/23/2018 - The Croods 2
05/18/2018 - How To Train Your Dragon 3
07/27/2018 - Anubis
Q1 2019 - Larrikins (Universal)
Anyways, I'm happy that DreamWorks' sequel has something of a new date, and I'm not sure about Ferdinand's new date. What say you?