The fifth feature length entry in the Ice Age animated franchise from 20th Century Fox (and their subsidiary animation studio Blue Sky Studios) has been kept largely under wraps, leaving fans of the series in a state of unspecified anticipation. Following the events of the last entry in the series, the fifth film will see the return of its lead voice actors Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Dennis Leary, and John Leguziamo, and will be helmed by returning director Mike Thurmeier (of the last two installments) in cooperation with Blue Sky stalwart Galen T. Chu.
As of late there has been little word on any further developments regarding the latest animated feature from Blue Sky. However, the 20th Century Fox the project now has a more definite title, to go along with its tweaked theatrical release date.
Ice Age 5 is now officially Ice Age: Collision Course and has moved from its previously-set July 15th, 2016 release date to an adjusted slot on July 22nd, shifting Sid, Manny, Ellie, and company away from the competition presented by Sony's Ghostbusters reboot and two other titles opening on its former date (namely Lionsgate's forthcoming musical La La Land and The Lake from EuropaCorp). If all goes according to plan, Collision Course will see direct competition solely from Warner Bros. and director Guy Ritchie's King Arthur.
Blue Sky's Ice Age movies have long thrived by appealing to a family audience and Collision Course should manage the same, when it arrives in Summer 2016. Such films as King Arthur and Ghostbusters are expected to do well at the box office, but are geared more towards an older crowd interested in summer blockbuster fare; the same goes for La La Land, Damien Chazelle's follow-up to his Oscar-winning directorial debut Whiplash. Either way you cut it, 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky ought to have the family crowd to themselves, when Collision Course arrives.
Already five films in, the Ice Age franchise shows no clear signs of stopping, though its initial audience since the first film was released way back in 2002 is no doubt of a different generational makeup than first went to theaters see Manny and the gang; a number of the kids who will be begging their parents to take them to see Collision Course next summer will have little to not familiarity with the franchise as it has evolved over the years. That begs the question: just how much longer can Blue Sky continue to repackage the series as a brand with any familiarity or cache?
Worldwide grosses for the last two Ice Age films - 2009's Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($886.7 million worldwide) and 2012's Continental Drift ($887.2 million) - suggests that there should be a similarly large audience, waiting to check out Collision Course when it arrives on the scene. Still, the animated series' voice actors aren't getting younger and the Ice Age films' dwindling good will with critics further suggests that the franchise should maybe start winding down, sooner than later.
Ice Age: Collision Course will see theatrical release in the U.S. on July 22nd, 2016.
Source: 20th Century Fox