Ever since the film initially premiered at an out-of-competition screening held during the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, the latest theatrical adaptation of The Little Prince, based in part on the original 1943 novella by French aristocrat, writer, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, has seen significant troubles in terms of finding theatrical distribution in the United States. Despite becoming the highest grossing animated feature in France last year where it saw its initial release to general audiences, Paramount Pictures recently dropped the rights to the film a mere week before its previously-slated opening weekend.
By the appearance of things from the film's latest international trailer, there is no clear indication as to why Paramount would decide to drop the film entirely this late in the game, especially when considering the notable box office success that the picture has already enjoyed overseas. But thankfully for those who might have begun to despair that they might never see the new film from director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda) state-side, the latest word has it that another noted distributor has picked up the movie for American viewers.
According to Deadline, Netflix has just picked up the distribution rights to the film for American audiences, though its final release date on the popular online streaming service has yet to be announced by the company. For now, those moviegoers who had hoped to see The Little Prince on the big screen state side will have to cross border into Canada, which is the only international territory currently showing the English language version of the film in theaters.
Thus far, Osborne and his producers Dimitri Rassam and Aton Soumache have maintained their silence in regards to the surprising decision from Paramount to pull the picture from theaters in the United States. Either way, The Little Prince is likely to draw a significant audience on Netflix, considering the fact that the movie has generated plenty of critical buzz and applause - having already accumulated $100 million in ticket sales in France and other international territories.
Perhaps due to the (nowadays) lesser-known nature of The Little Prince's source material, Osborne and company's new film may have been dropped from American theaters by Paramount due to a calculated decision that saw little profit in bringing the film to domestic audiences potentially unfamiliar with the original novella. Regardless, those who are familiar with the work of Saint-Exupéry can expect to see the new theatrical adaptation of The Little Prince released domestically on Netflix in the near future.
The Little Prince will see release on Netflix in the U.S. sometime later this year.