Paddington 2 snags an early 2018 release date, while fellow animated flick Sherlock Gnomes is bumped back two months. Everyone's favorite children's book came to life two years ago when Paddington bounded onto the big screen. The film was a huge success for French distributor StudioCanal, as it went on to garner both critical praise and a hefty box office sum. Few were surprised when, later that same year, it was announced that the studio would produce more Paddington movies. Paddington 2 news has been slowly developing for some time, and it looks like the studio just released some key info.
We already know that Paddington 2 will once again feature Paul King as writer-director, and that the sequel has already begun filming with some exciting new cast members. There is also a Paddington 3 on its way, though fans will have to wait a while for the complete trilogy. It looks like there will still be a bit of a wait for the Paddington 2 debut - but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Earlier today, American distributor The Weinstein Co., along with Dimension films, scheduled the Paddington sequel for January 12, 2018. Deadline reports that the film will fill a vacancy left by competing animated film Sherlock Gnomes, which Paramount sought to release that weekend before bumping it to March 23, also reported by Deadline.
This is a great win for Paddington 2, as the film will now have animated reign over the Martin Luther King, Jr. long weekend in the U.S. The original Paddington film hardly needed the help, however, as the British-French co-production dominated overseas box offices, raking in 71 percent of its $268 million gross from countries beyond the United States. The original film featured Sally Hawkins (An Education, Submarine) and Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) in lead roles, with Ben Whishaw voicing the beloved bear. Paddington 2 seeks to build on the success of its predecessor, and has added beloved Brit Hugh Grant to its cast. The films seek to adapt the Paddington books, which are considered children's classics in the U.K.
It's nice to see this sequel moving along, especially since the original film was so critically well-received. Since Paddington 2 once again brings on King as writer-director, it's likely that this sequel will offer the same charm and nostalgia as the original. The family movie was lucky to snag a holiday weekend in the U.S., which may help the film really breach the American market. Paddington does not have quite as strong a cultural hold on the U.S. as it does across the pond.
Until early next year, families will have to sit tight and re-read these classic books. While we wait, we'll eat some extra marmalade in honor of our favorite bear.
Paddington 2 opens January 12, 2018.