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Briefly: Last fall, Warner Bros. Pictures jostled around the dates for The LEGO Movie Sequel as well as the spin-offs Ninjago and LEGO Batman, but now they've been shaken up yet again. The biggest change is that Ninjago has been pushed back a year to a September 22nd, 2017 release date. Meanwhile, LEGO Batman has been moved up to February 10th 2017, a few months earlier than the previous May release date, and The LEGO Movie Sequel has been bumped up by a week to a May 18th, 2018 release. That means we'll be waiting awhile before we get more LEGO action on the big screen but hopefully it'll be worth it.
Late last year, DreamWorks Animation decided to move the sequel Kung Fu Panda 3 from a late release this year, to a spring release in 2016. However, it sounds like the animation studio and their new distribution partner 20th Century Fox want to give it some more room to breathe away from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, because THR reports they've bumped it up a couple months to a release on January 29th, 2016. That's a terrible release month, but that means this movie should have no problem performing well at the box office, which is exactly what the struggling DreamWorks Animation needs now.
Back in February, we learned that the opening night film of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival would be a documentary about "Saturday Night Live" perfectly titled Live from New York!. And while the debut of the film is still over a week away, those who can't attend the film festival in New York can take solace in knowing that the film has just been set for a theatrical release this summer on June 12th. This will be the first feature film documentary diving into the history of Lorne Michaels' iconic sketch show, the first and only of its kind, launching the careers of countless comedians for 40 years and still counting. More below!
Briefly: Last fall brought us our first look at the long-gestating adaptation of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, based on Seth Grahame-Smith's period romance novel remix of the same name. In the story, a zombie apocalypse has been ongoing for 70 years, and the Bennet sisters, Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Elizabeth (Lily James), Mary (Millie Brady), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) are finally sick of it and ready to take on the undead. Now the film from Burr Steers (17 Again) has been given a release date of February 19th, 2016 from Screen Gems. It's not the best release date, but not entirely unexpected. Sam Riley and Jack Huston also star in the film, and we'll see if people show up next year.
If you've been skeptical about Warner Bros. Pictures' reboot of the classic comedy Vacation, this news might change your tune. The studio is placing a lot of confidence in the comedy starring Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth because THR reports they've just bumped up the film from its original release date in October to a much better opening on July 31st this summer instead. That should make for some decent counter programming for anyone who isn't interested in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, which was also bumped up from its original Christmas Day release.
Earlier this year a viral video introduced us to Vincent D'Onofrio's character in Jurassic World, and we definitely got the vibe that he could be some sort of villainous character in the summer blockbuster. Plus, let's not forget that he's playing Kingpin in Netflix's series adaptation of "Daredevil" from Marvel Studios. Now the actor has lined up another key bad guy role as Variety reports D'Onofrio will be giving Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke some trouble in MGM and Sony's remake of The Magnificent Seven, which in itself was a remake of Akira Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai. So who will he play?
Briefly: Even though Michael Keaton didn't win an Oscar for his performance in Birdman, it sounds like The Weinstein Company thinks he's got another chance with his next project The Founder. Keaton is playing Ray Kroc, the salesman from Illinois who picked up a burger operation in 1950s Southern California and turned it into McDonald's, which would become a multi-billion dollar fast-food chain in the world. The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock will be at the helm of the film with a script from Big Fan scribe Robert Siegel, and now THR reports the film has been set for a pretty prime awards season release on November 25th, 2016. We'll certainly be looking forward to seeing this one late next year. Stay tuned.
Briefly: Warner Bros. Pictures is making some changes to their release schedule for next summer. Shane Black's next film, The Nice Guys, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe has just been bumped up a month to a release on May 20th, 2016. And that's because the studio is giving a prime June 17th, 2016 release to their forthcoming buddy comedy Central Intelligence starring box office draws Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. It sounds like Warner Bros. has a lot of confidence in both films to release them in the blockbuster summer season, but each could be some nice counter-programming to the big tentpoles.
Following yesterday's news that Star Wars: Episode VIII would arrive on May 26th, 2017, bringing the sci-fi saga back to summer where it belongs, 20th Century Fox made a smart decision to move one of their blockbusters out of the way. Though Fantastic Four 2 wasn't hitting theaters until June 2nd, 2017, the studio wants to give Disney (and themselves) another week of box office breathing room by moving the comic book sequel back one week to June 9th, 2017. It's not a big move, but one extra week will give more people time to see Episode VIII without harming the box office gross of Fantastic Four 2, so it's a good call.
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting in December this year, and the first official Star Wars spin-off coming a year later in December of 2016, we've assumed that the winter month would always be the timeframe for new films in the galaxy far, far away to get released. However, StarWars.com has confirmed information from a call between Disney CEO Bob Iger and Disney shareholders where it was revealed that Star Wars: Episode VIII, which has been confirmed to be directed by Looper director Rian Johnson, will arrive on May 26th, 2017. May was previously the month of Star Wars, so the change isn't surprising.
Briefly: "I've decided to write the story down…" Roadside Attractions & Miramax have confirmed a release date for Bill Condon's Mr. Holmes, starring Sir Ian McKellen as an aging Sherlock Holmes. I've been raving about the film ever since I caught the premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, since it really moved me (read my review) and I can't wait for it to hit theaters over here. Roadside will be releasing Mr. Holmes in theaters starting on July 17th this summer, around the same time as Marvel's Ant-Man and Judd Apatow's Trainwreck. Let's hope it doesn't get lost in the mix. It's a gem of a film, about an older Sherlock Holmes struggling with memory loss and aging, who befriends the young son of a caretaker. Watch the first trailer.
Briefly: A random tidbit of release date news to cover today, as this is one of our favorite films of the year and we hope it goes far when it opens in theaters. Fox Searchlight has moved the release date of Sundance Audience Award & Grand Jury winner Me and Earl and the Dying Girl up from July 1st to Friday, June 12th this summer. A few weeks ago, we reported that Me & Earl, starring Thomas Mann & Olivia Cooke, would be opening on July 1st but now it will arrive in select theaters starting almost three weeks earlier (on June 12th). It will still be a platform release, meaning it'll expand to more theaters throughout the summer but some places probably won't play it until July anyway. It's one of the best indie films this year, so it's worth the wait (we both loved it at Sundance). Stay tuned for the trailer and updates from here.
Briefly: One of my favorite films this year (so far) from Sundance has a release date. A24 has set The End of the Tour, directed by James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now), starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as David Lipsky for limited release starting this July. Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood reports that A24 plans to release The End of the Tour starting July 31st, 2015 before "a long slow build over the summer" instead of the more traditional "fall festival award season rollout". I'm confident that Segel will be talked about for awards all year, so if they're behind him too, then let's roll it out. IFC's Boyhood opened in August of last year after Sundance and ended up six Oscar nominations, plus a Best Supporting Actress win, so anything is possible. We'll keep you updated from here.
Briefly: For anyone out there anticipating either the remake of Poltergeist or the action comedy Spy, you'll want to listen up. 20th Century Fox has just shuffled the release dates for each. First of all, Spy starring Melissa McCarthy (watch two trailers right here) has been pushed just a couple weeks to June 5th later in the summer. And moving up a couple months to take its vacated May 22nd release date will be Gil Kenan's new take on Poltergeist from MGM with Rosemarie DeWitt and Sam Rockwell (check out the two teaser trailers here). Finally, due to the shift in Spy, the adaptation of Paper Towns (based on the book by The Fault in Our Stars author John Green) has been pushed to July 24th. It'll be a busy summer!