Friday, May 26, 2017
New Placement: 'Sherlock Gnomes' Moves Back a Bit
Looks like the wait for that belated sequel is going to be a little bit longer...
Sherlock Gnomes is the sequel to Gnomeo & Juliet, a film that actually began life as a Disney animated feature. The project - basically another Elton John song showcase in the vein of The Lion King - sort of bubbled under Michael Eisner's watch, and it was one the few pictures to get booted off the slate after everything changed. Eisner stepped down as CEO of the company in 2005, Bob Iger took over, brought Pixar and John Lasseter back into the fold, and Lasseter assumed control of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Looking through the projects that were in development at the time, he had no love for Gnomeo & Juliet, and he axed it in early 2006.
Work on it continued, and it would ultimately be made by Starz and Rocket Pictures. Miramax, still under Disney at the time, was set to release it. The Miramax broke off from Disney in 2010, when the movie is in full production. Disney released it, a harmless G-rated concoction, under their pretty-much-dead Touchstone label in spring 2011. You know, the label that Disney created in 1984 for family-unfriendly pictures? Anyways, for some reason, Gnomeo & Juliet opened with $25 million here in North America and went on to gross $99 million. Worldwide grosses covered its micro budget.
The sequel, Sherlock Gnomes, has been promised since 2012-ish... Paramount Animation locked into it not too long ago, and had the picture slated for January 12, 2018. Now, the film is set to open on March 23, 2018...
Now, I get the sense that Paramount is aware of what a particular Fox animated release is going through. A cryptic ancient Egypt-flavored adventure called Anubis. My previous article was about that film, actually, as I wondered aloud... "Where the heck is it? It's due out in March 2018 and there's no information on it whatsoever, whereas we know some stuff about Blue Sky's Pigeon: Impossible, due out in 2019."
Well, I recently found out that Anubis actually hasn't been given the go-head. The author of the book it's based on told me that Fox has been cautious. They're not ready to move forward with their mummy adventure because a little film called Gods of Egypt flopped horribly at the box office a year ago, and they're waiting to see how The Mummy - the Universal reboot that's set to kick off their Dark Universe series - will do in a few weeks from now. If that picture's a success, they may just move forward with Anubis. So right now, it's unclear if Fox will release Anubis on 3/23/2018 or not. If Mummy tanks, they might leave that slot vacant.
Paramount may know of this, and took advantage. Why else would they schedule it on the same day as another animated feature? Not to mention, Fox Searchlight will be releasing Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs in a limited amount of cinemas that weekend.
It just goes to show, nothing's ever really set in stone in animationland. Sherlock Gnomes is now a spring 2018 release.
What say you?