Warner Bros. Pictures will usher in the new year with the big-screen return of one of the world's most beloved characters in a delightful new adventure. Following its overwhelmingly successful UK opening earlier this month and currently #1 at the UK box office, Paddington 2, fully financed by StudioCanal and produced by multi award-winning producer David Heyman (the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, Paddington, Gravity), is set to debut in theatres across North America on January 12, 2018. The Studio has acquired distribution rights for the film in the U.S. and Canada from StudioCanal and The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films, it was jointly announced today by StudioCanal, Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
This comes just weeks after we reported that Paddington 2 producers wanted to move away from The Weinstein Company, following the widespread sexual harassment and assault allegations that have been leveled against Harvey Weinstein. There have been reports that The Weinstein Company name as a whole may be changed, along with reports that the company may be sold off in its entirety. Paddington 2 was not the first movie to remove themselves from The Weinstein Company, with the awards season favorite Wind River securing financing for an Oscar campaign that will remove all mention of The Weinstein Company. Sony Pictures also took drastic measures in the wake of the Kevin Spacey sexual assault scandal, removing all of Kevin Spacey's footage from All the Money in the World and re-casting Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty, while still keeping its December 22 release date.
Paddington 2 continues the story of the enduringly popular little bear in the trademark blue coat and red hat that touched audiences worldwide. It opened November 10th in the UK to enthusiastic audiences and universally positive reviews, outpacing its predecessor's opening weekend numbers by over 60%. Based on the best-selling and internationally adored series of children's stories by Michael Bond, the film is once again directed by BAFTA nominee Paul King, from a script by King and Simon Farnaby.
Golden Globe and BAFTA winner Hugh Grant and three-time Golden Globe nominee Brendan Gleeson join the all-star returning cast of Golden Globe nominee Hugh Bonneville, Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins, Oscar nominee Julie Walters, Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, Oscar winner Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin, with BAFTA winner Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington and Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton as the voice of Aunt Lucy.
The new story finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy's hundredth 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. The Warner Bros. movie will go up against Lionsgate's The Commuter and Condorito: La Pelicula and Sony's Proud Mary when it hits theaters on January 12, 2018.