Warner Bros. announced Wednesday that it has bought the rights to “Paddington 2,” a StudioCanal film whose domestic rights were previously owned by the struggling Weinstein Company.
The sale of the film, which is produced by David Heyman, comes as TWC tries to maintain solvency as it sells its remaining assets. The first “Paddington,” which was released in Ssummer 2015, grossed $268 million worldwide against a $55 million budget, including $76.2 million domestically and just under $65 million in the U.K., where Paddington Bear was first created in the 1950s. The sequel has already been released in Britain, where it opened to $10.8 million compared to $8 million for its predecessor.
The film is currently scheduled to be released in the U.S. on Jan. 12.
The sale also means that Warner Bros. will be releasing another Heyman-produced film, continuing a partnership with the producer spanning over 15 years. Other Heyman films released by the studio include the “Harry Potter” films, the ongoing “Fantastic Beasts” spin-off series, and the Oscar-winning “Gravity.”
“Paddington 2” stars Hugh Bonneville, Peter laipaldi, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Madeline Harris and Samuel Joslin, with Ben Whishaw voicing Paddington and Imelda Staunton as Aunt Lucy. Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson join the cast for the sequel. It follows Paddington, now settled in his new home with the Browns, as he tries to find a present for Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday.
Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief. Paul King is directed from a script he co-wrote with Simon Faranby.