Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Won't Stop the Feeling: DreamWorks Announces 'Trolls 2'
No need to wait for an annual report, for it appears that DreamWorks is very happy with how Trolls did...
Right out of the gate, DreamWorks announced the sequel and its release date: April 10, 2020.
That's one week after an untitled Sony Pictures Animation "franchise" film. With this year, we're seeing animated movies opening closer and closer to each other, so clearly they feel that this particular risk is worth taking. I don't believe in cannibalization myself, but I hope all these films being released so close together doesn't bring too many downsides.
It seems a little confusing at first. Why a sequel? Trolls made 2.7x its $125 million budget, and I'm sure a lot of money was poured into the marketing. By contrast, DreamWorks' supposedly-disastrous Penguins of Madagascar made 2.8x its budget, and that lead to cutbacks, layoffs, and a whole studio (PDI) being shut-down. I always assumed that Penguins was called the disaster because it missed $100 million domestically, whereas Trolls and Home each surpassed $150 million on American soil. That, and Trolls was a merchandising monster. I hadn't seen so much merch for a DreamWorks film in *years*...
It also helps that its main song was a big hit. I can't get away from it, because my theater lobby's ad-TVs play it on near-infinite loop. I don't dislike the song, but ya know... It gets a wee bit tiresome when you hear it all the time.
So yeah, with that in mind it makes a little sense. Also, DreamWorks is no longer the studio they were in January 2015, when they got hit so hard by Penguins. They're now owned by Comcast, a big money pit. Without a safety net like that, they were in the position where they either had to sink or swim. Remember how some sites were ringing the death bell for them?
Trolls 2 is sure to repeat its predecessor's success in some way. The movie was no mega-hit by any means, so it would be wise for post-acquisition DreamWorks to keep the costs down this time. Since DreamWorks now looks to release one Glendale-made film every calendar year, this raises a few questions. The Edgar Wright-directed re-imagining of the cancelled Me and My Shadow, Shadows, was once planned for a 2019 release until DreamWorks/Universal decided on the one-a-year plan.
However, DreamWorks has their Shanghai-based unit. That studio is making their own animated feature, Everest. That's opening in 2019, the same year DreamWorks will release the mainline How To Train Your Dragon 3. That strategy is also being tested this year: DreamWorks outsourced this summer's Captain Underpants to Mikros Image, while The Boss Baby - a little over a month away - was done in the states. So say Trolls 2 is a mainline picture, will we get an outsourced/Shanghai film that same year? Could Shadows possibly be a smaller outsourced film?
Also... DreamWorks... Any news on Larrikins. It's out in a slightly less than a year. Maybe tell us a little bit about that one, eh?
What say you on Trolls 2?