Sony Pictures took a chance at cornering the family friendly horror genre by adapting material from legendary writer R.L. Stine in 2015 with Goosebumps. They hired Rob Letterman, the man behind family flicks Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Gulliver's Travels, to direct the adaptation. Letterman's experience coupled with the comedic timing of Jack Black gave the movie a step in the right direction from the start, and it turned out to be a successful pairing.
Thanks to an abundance of Stine's monsters that both brought scares and laughs, the first film grossed $150 million on a $58 million budget, and earned mostly favorable reviews. It is no surprise now that Columbia appears to want to dive back into the monster universe.
Exhibitor Relations reveals that Columbia has given Goosebumps 2 a January 26th, 2018 release date. Letterman is expected to return for the sequel, as is the writer from the first film, Darren Lemke. Black is also expected to return as R.L. Stine. Based on the ending of the first film, it also would be likely that Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush return as Zach and Stine's daughter Hannah.
There is no telling what avenue the story will take in a second outing. With Zach accidentally releasing nearly every one of Stine's creations at some point in the film, falling into the same story would simply have them retreading the territory of the first film. As Letterman and Lemke have been developing the sequel since April, they must be pleased with the progress so far if Sony is planting a release date at this point.
It is curious given the reception of the first film however that Sony has set the sequel in the dumping ground of the calendar year. Much of the first film's success could be attributed to the release date being close to Halloween, so it is curious to move the sequel far away from that spot. This could be Sony's way of showing that they do not have confidence in the project at this point, but should that change, they could easily push it to a more friendly date.
If this date is firmly in place, Sony will need to begin production on the film in the coming months. Letterman meanwhile has also recently attached himself to Pokemon's Detective Pikachu movie, which appeared to be moving along nicely. Now, it will be interesting to see which project takes precedent in his schedule. Based on the new release date, Goosebumps 2 makes the most sense, meaning official casting and plot details should be on the way shortly.
Goosebumps 2 is scheduled to hit theaters January 26, 2018.
Source: Exhibitor Relations