Controversy or no controversy, Amblin's A Dog's Purpose managed to be a pretty sneaky hit at the box office. Despite some rather bad PR before the movie's domestic release, the movie went on to be a major hit for the studio worldwide. As such, Amblin is now moving ahead with A Dog's Purpose 2, made with foreign markets, specifically China, in mind.
As initially reported by The Wall Street Journal, via a piece that examined why A Dog's Purpose succeeded in China and The LEGO Batman Movie didn't, a sequel is happening and it has a lot to do with the fact that the Chinese box office was so strong. Surprisingly, especially considering how much of an American movie A Dog's Purpose is, the movie earned $88 million in China, which is quite a bit more than the $64 million it made domestically. So, we are getting a sequel.
A Dog's Purpose, which was a movie that featured a dog dying several times and living different lives in order to discover his purpose, may seem like a strange thing to give a sequel to, but it actually isn't that farfetched, if you'll pardon the pun. Author W. Bruce Cameron, who wrote the book A Dog's Purpose, wrote a sequel novel titled A Dog's Journey, which would seem to pretty easily lend itself to a movie adaptation in the same way the first novel did. Case in point, here's the synopsis for A Dog's Journey.
"Buddy is a good dog. After searching for his purpose through several eventful lives, Buddy is sure that he has found and fulfilled it. Yet as he watches curious baby Clarity get into dangerous mischief, he is certain that this little girl is very much in need of a dog of her own. When Buddy is reborn, he realizes that he has a new destiny. He's overjoyed when he is adopted by Clarity, now a vibrant but troubled teenager. When they are suddenly separated, Buddy despairs, who will take care of his girl?"
Prior to the release of A Dog's Purpose in the U.S., the movie came up against one of the worst PR nightmares in recent memory. A video of one of the dogs from the set surfaced online, which appeared to show the dog being forced to swim in a very aggressive pool of water. The video did not look good and it went viral, with animal rights activists blasting the studio for allowing this to take place. The issue was so big that Amblin even canceled the premiere and many of the film's stars publicly voiced their distaste for what was depicted in the video. Josh Gad, who voiced the dog, chief among them. Despite that, A Dog's Purpose made $193 million worldwide against a $22 million budget. Money talks, so a sequel is on the way. There is no timeframe for release, but it seems safe to assume Amblin won't want to sit on this one and will want to get on it quickly.