Everyone’s favorite talking bear will be released without ties to sexual assault.
Warner Bros. Pictures has completed a deal that will bring Paddington to a new home. On the heels of its monstrous success in the U.K. where it opened to #1 at the box office, Paddington 2, will hit theaters on January 12th, 2018. WB got the rights to release the picture in the U.S. and Canada after The Weinstein Company needed to part with the rights to stay afloat. Paddington 2 follows the adventures of the little bear with the blue coat and red hat as he continues to adjust to life with the Brown family.
This is quite a change in direction for The Weinstein Company to take. Despite the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein insisted it was business as normal. A statement issued to the press a little over a month ago read as follows:
Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company. ‘Polaroid’ is moving forward as planned with a release date of November 22 followed by ‘Paddington 2’ on January 12. The first ‘Paddington’ grossed over $75 million and we expect even greater success for ‘Paddington 2.’ Test screening scores are through the roof. ‘War with Grandpa’ starring Robert De Niro is scheduled for February 23, 2018. Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.
Bob Weinstein insisted that the company would stay in business and at the time they still had the success of Wind River over the summer and The Current War to look forward to in the winter. Now they don’t have either of those films as well since Wind River has separated entirely from The Weinstein Company and The Current War does not currently have a date set. It was probably for the best that The Weinstein Company sold the project instead of losing the opportunity altogether. A partner of co-financer Studio Canal, Heyday Films, did not want their family film associated with sexual assault. A source close to Heyday Films said, “It is deeply frustrating that a film made with such love and care and a character of such positive and generous spirit might, in some way, be tarnished with the brush of these horrific, wholly unacceptable, acts.”
It’s better for everyone involved that Paddington 2 was sold to Warner Bros. Warner Bros. gets a guaranteed hit to start off 2018 since the first Paddington did terrific business in its original opening. TWC gets to take the money from the sale to keep their studio and assets in check. And Paddington 2 can be released without the stigma of being attached to a failing company and disgusting individual. Paddington 2 might have saved TWC, but not in the fashion Bob Weinstein had anticipated.
Paddington 2 hits theaters on January 12th, 2018.