Perhaps the blow is a little less hard considering that The Lego Batman Movie is coming in 2017, but today Warner Bros. announced that it is delaying The Lego Movie Sequel by almost an entire year. This news arrives amongst a few other key changes to Warner Bros.' impending slate as they shuffle around some of their more or less anticipated releases. But the follow-up to 2014's The Lego Movie sounds like the most disappointing move for fans.
The Lego Movie 2 was originally set for release on May 18, 2018. There, it had the entire weekend to itself. Though, it would have come two weeks after the release of Marvel's biggest sequel yet Avengers: Infinity War Part 1. And then, in the following week, it would have had to contend with the second Star Wars spinoff Han Solo. What is interesting about this is, Han Solo made a Lego mini-fig cameo in the original Lego Movie, and this could have been an opportunity to have the iconic character in two movies at one time. But that's not happening now.
Lego 2 has shifted to February 8, 2019. This means the sequel will be arriving 5 years after the original was in theaters. While the movie previously had the May date all to itself, now, this kids' comedy will be going up against another family friendly franchise, as Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon have also reserved this date for Spongebob Squarepants 3. That will be one big battle at the box office, but Lego likely has the upper hand, and it wouldn't be shocking to see Spongebob shuffled off to somewhere else on the calendar.
According to Deadline, Warner Bros. is also delaying Dean Devlin's disaster flick Geostorm by a few months. The movie was originally slated to hit on January 13, 2017. But now it is being positioned as a Halloween release, and arrives October 20, 2017. In its original frame, the movie was set to go up against 20th Century Fox's Hidden Figures and Paramount's Monster Trucks. Paramount also has that date reserved for its upcoming Friday the 13th reboot, but producers of that movie confirmed earlier in the week that Jason will probably find a new home on the slate, though Paramount hasn't announced when yet. Now, Geostorm will be going up against an Untitled Blumhouse Project, which will be their big 2017 horror movie for the year.
Geostorm actually takes the place of Ben Affleck's next directorial effort Live By Night, which was being positioned as an Oscar contender in this fall slot. It is now sliding into Geostorm's old slot. So we're not sure what this says about the nature or quality of the film, but it seems Warner Bros. is no longer interested in positioning it as Oscar bait.
There is one other interesting change, as well. The Owen Wilson and Ed Helms comedy Bastards has moved from November 4 of this year to January 27, 2017. The movie follows two brothers who, as adults, set out to find their real fathers. Had it stayed put, it would be facing off against a monster slate of competition that includes Marvel's Doctor Strange, director Mel Gibson's historical drama Hacksaw Ridge, 20th Century Fox's animated comedy Trolls, based on the iconic dolls from the 60s, and Focus Features' Loving. It will now butt heads with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, where it will weigh in as perfect counter programming. Trainspotting 2 is also set for this date.