Eddie Murphy's Coming 2 America is still going to make its debut in 2020 but it will not be coming to a theater near you. It has been revealed that the project is making the jump from Paramount Pictures to Amazon Studios, which will see the long-awaited comedy sequel arrive on streaming this December, as opposed to the previously planned theatrical release. This is both good news for those who are eager to see the sequel and bad news for theaters who were hoping it would give them something that could put meat in seats before the end of the year.
According to multiple reports, Amazon is about to close a deal for Coming 2 America. The deal is massive, said to be in the $125 million range. Paramount had previously dated the sequel for December 18. It is expected that Amazon Prime will stick to that same release date. That also means that rumors of a trailer debuting online soon are probably true as the company will surely want to start marketing the expensive flick sooner rather than later. What remains unclear is whether or not it will be included free with Prime Video or if Amazon will charge extra, like Disney did with Mulan on Disney+.
The deal is said to be complex as there were marketing tie-ins for companies like McDonald's and Crown Royal whiskey in Coming to American 2. Eddie Murphy will be reprising his role as Akeem from the original 1988 comedy classic. Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones will also be reprising their roles from the original, with Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, Kiki Layne and Jay Pharaoh joining the cast.
Craig Brewer, who worked with Murphy in last year's acclaimed Dolemite Is My Name, is in the director's chair. John Landis directed the original, which earned an impressive $288 million at the box office in its day. The sequel will reportedly see Akeem ready to take over as King of Zamunda. He comes to find that he has an estranged child in America. Honoring his father's final wish, Akeem and Semmi head back to America to groom him as the new prince of Zamunda.
This may be good for Amazon but it is a critical blow for movie theaters, and one they simply cannot afford. After Tenet and The New Mutants failed to ignite the box office, most major releases, such as Black Widow and No Time to Die, were delayed to 2021. This left theaters with little to show that could draw in a crowd. As such, Cineworld, which owns Regal in the U.S., has once again shut down all of its theaters indefinitely. AMC, meanwhile, is in danger of running out of cash very soon.
With another big movie heading straight to streaming, the only major releases left on the calendar for 2020 are Free Guy, Death on the Nile, The Croods 2 and Wonder Woman 1984. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on Amazon's release strategy for Coming 2 America are made available. This news was previously reported by Variety.