Much like Paddington the bear himself, Paddington 2 has secured itself a new home. The future of the family film was somewhat up in the air, with The Weinstein Company trying to sell off assets before filing for bankruptcy, but it certainly looks as though the sale of the domestic rights to Paddington 2 has been successful.
Paddington 2 was one of the main assets to be sold by The Weinstein Company, as the studio hoped that the movie's substantial opening return in the United Kingdom would result in a lot of interest in the domestic rights. This has certainly proved to be the case, and it turns out that Warner Bros. has won the fight to pick up the rights to the StudioCanal movie.
According to Deadline, Paddington 2 is heading to Warner Bros. after the company gained victory over the likes of Lionsgate, Sony, and Global Road. The bidding war between the different studios eventually reached the heights of $30 million, but since Paddington 2 picked up an impressive $10.8 million in its opening weekend in the UK, hopes are high for a strong return stateside as well.
Although Paddington 2's move to Warner Bros. means that the film now sits at the home of producer David Heyman, it may well not be the result that StudioCanal had been hoping for. Lionsgate in particular could have been a solid option for the sequel, as StudioCanal and Lionsgate already have a U.S. distribution deal in place for many other projects.
Although Warner Bros. has been successful in gaining the rights to Paddington 2, it's now that the real work starts. The film is currently set for release in the U.S. in January 2018, giving the company a few months to arrange for its release and to push the marketing required in the run-up to its launch. Should the debut of Paddington 2 all go smoothly, however, this could end up being a very lucrative deal for the company.
With that in mind, Warner Bros. might see their deal as a means to further their relationship with the already planned Paddington 3. However, it's currently reported that one of the points in the deal is that TWC and StudioCanal will keep profit participation and involvement in Paddington sequels, which might stop this eventuality from happening. However, with The Weinstein Company's bankruptcy in the cards following sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and financial troubles, the future of the company is not certain in the slightest.