Although it has only earned a modest $57 million in its first three weeks in domestic theaters, Paddington has taken in over $208 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing family movie to ever be released by a non-US studio, Studiocanal. Variety reports that StudioCanal CEO Olivier Courson has already engaged in early talks with producer David Heyman to make a Paddington 2 sequel. Here's what Olivier Courson had to say in a statement.
"We have to be selective, work with strong brands, top talent, take the time we need. Obviously, the result on Paddington is a strong incentive to us and the partners on the movie to work on a sequel, and a strong incentive for Studiocanal to continue in this area (of ambitious family movies). Paddington has been our biggest bet. Even the development costs, such as creating the bear, were significant. But it shows we can be ambitious in this area of family entertainment, even if it brings us into more direct competition with U.S. studios."
Paddington was budgeted at $55 million, making it Studiocanal's largest movie to date. The family movie has yet to open in two of the biggest international markets yet, with a release in China set for next month, and Japan's debut slated for 2016. It is also one of the best-reviewed movies of the year thus far, with a 98% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Paddington is expected to cross $250 million worldwide by the end of its run, a milestone Courson said is, "the level of a significant success for a family movie." Studiocanal's next family film, Aardman Animation's Shaun the Sheep opened this past weekend in the U.K., although a domestic release date has yet to be announced.
Although Studiocanal is best known for movies such as The Imitation Game, A Most Violent Year and the upcoming thriller The Gunman, the success of Paddington has lead to the studio planning at least "one or two" family movies per year in the future. As far as the Paddington sequel is concerned, it isn't known if cast members such as Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon or Ben Whishaw, who voices the title character, will be back for the follow-up.