2016 wasn’t a great time for Sony at the box office, as evidenced by the company taking a nearly $1 billion write-down for its movie division’s performance over that year. The studio is aiming to bounce back in 2017 with such projects as the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: Homecoming and two very different potential franchise starters, in the forms of the Stephen King novel adaptation The Dark Tower and animated comedy The Emoji Movie, respectively. In addition, the studio already has plans for next year that include a revival of the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence buddy cop franchise Bad Boys, as well as fresh installments in its more lucrative family-friendly properties.
Sony only just announced that Bad Boys for Life – the first Bad Boys movie since Michael Bay’s Bad Boys II (in 2003) and the first written/directed by Joe Carnahan (The Grey) – has been pushed back to a Fall 2018 release date. That wasn’t the only major change in the studio’s release schedule either, as Sony also revealed new release dates in 2018 for the animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 3 and the live-action followup, Goosebumps 2.
Hotel Transylvania 3 has now moved up from its previous September 21st launch date next year to July 13th, 2018, where it faces the second weekend showing for Marvel Studio’s sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp. The third Hotel Transylvania movie is once again helmed by Genndy Tartakovsky and follows Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) as he and his family take a vacation on a Monster Cruise Ship – only for Drag to fall for the ship’s captain, unaware that she’s a descendant of famed monster hunter Van Helsing. That’s the sort of zany plot that should help ensure that the Hotel Transylvania film series remains popular with its growing fanbase (see Hotel Transylvania 2‘s $473 million global box office take vs. $358 million for the first movie), during its third go-around.
Goosebumps 2, meanwhile, was originally slated to open in theaters on January 26th, 2018, but has now shifted back to take Hotel Transylvania 3‘s former September 21st date that same year. The original Goosebumps originally opened closer to Halloween (mid-October 2015, in fact) and it’s possible the sequel will eventually follow suit. There’s currently not a lot of competition at the box office scheduled near Halloween 2018 and a date closer to the holiday would benefit the kid-friendly scary adventure. As it stands though, Goosebumps 2 is now going up against Warner Bros. Animation’s own family-friendly “scary” offering, in the Scooby-Doo animated movie reboot.
The Goosebumps sequel will further adapt the beloved children’s supernatural horror novel series of the same name created by R.L. Stine, with Jack Black lined up to reprise his role from the first film as the big screen version of Stine himself. Goosebumps director Rob Letterman and screenwriter Daren Lemke are also returning for the sequel, though we have yet to hear anything about the plot they are cooking up behind closed doors. Given that the first Goosebumps was mostly well-received and did well enough by itself at the box office (grossing $150 million worldwide on a $58 million budget), there should be a decent-sized audience eager for more spooky adventures from Stine, whatever they may be.
Source: Sony Pictures/Animation