Friday, October 21, 2016

Nothing's Changed: Universal Gets DreamWorks' 2018 Films, Doesn't Change Dates

It took a while, but it's been confirmed...

Universal Pictures will be releasing the other two DreamWorks films that are set for release in 2018: Larrikins and How To Train Your Dragon 3. They are now officially Universal films, 20th Century Fox's deal ends next year with Captain Underpants. Old news actually, a lot of us knew that a month ago. All these reports here and there implied that the early summer release would be the last DreamWorks film to be distributed by the gold twenty.

The news here is that Universal doesn't plan to change the dates for these two films.

Larrikins will still open on February 16, 2018, exactly one week after Warner Animation Group's Smallfoot, and the same day as Marvel Studios' hotly-anticipated Black Panther.

I thought this date was likely to change... I guess not.

The bright side. Universal knows how to market animated movies, unlike Fox most of the time, as Trolls is - unsurprisingly - tracking pretty badly and will be hit by Marvel's Doctor Strange. It's set to open with $30 million tops, worse than Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and not much higher than Turbo and Penguins of Madagascar. I assume that Fox is just ripping the band-aid at this point, not caring whether the $120 million-costing pictures will make it back or not. They lose DreamWorks in the summer of 2017, so are they thinking "So what?" You would think they'd want to make the most of what they have. Trolls' reception so far doesn't seem half bad, either... You'd think Fox would try harder to make it a little hit.

The Croods 2 still hasn't locked a new date, but it's clear that it'll stay in 2018, breaking the DreamWorks "two-a-year" policy... But then again The Croods 2 is a movie that will probably feel like it belongs in 2017 - even more so if it locks a January date, so I guess it's not a big deal in the end. It needed to be delayed too, not just because of Star Wars, but because of rewrites. Wherever it lands, who knows at the moment.

What say you?


  1. "Breaking the DreamWorks two-a-year policy"

    Actually, what if Croods 2 and Dragon 3 are done in house while Larrikins is outsourced to an animation studio in Australia?