The Weinstein Company has given the long-awaited sequel Paddington 2 a new release date today, setting the movie for January 12, 2018. This puts it in roughly the same frame as the original Paddington movie, which hit theaters on January 16, 2015. As of now, Paddington 2 will go up against Lionsgate's action-thriller The Commuter, starring Liam Neeson and Studio 8's White Boy Rick, starring Matthew McConaughey. It will also fall between Insidious 4 on January 5 and Den of Thieves and Horse Soldiers on January 19.

Deadline reports that The Weinstein Company made the move for this slot after Paramount moved its own family-friendly project, Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes from January 12, 2018 to March 23, 2018. For now, Paddington 2 is the only family movie slated for release on that date, which falls over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Of course, release dates shift all the time, but since the original movie found success in that frame, it's not too surprising that the sequel was placed here. It could very well be another sleeper box office, hit, just like its predecessor.

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The original movie took in $76.2 million domestically, which isn't a huge take, but it earned another $191.7 million internationally, for a worldwide haul of $268 million, from a modest $55 million budget. $64.9 million of that international tally came from the U.K., where the Paddington bear originated. The sequel brings back original cast members Hugh Bonneville (Henry Brown), Sally Hawkins (Mary Brown), Julie Walters (Mr.s Bird), Jim Broadbent (Mr. Gruber), Peter Capaldi (Mr. Curry), Madeleine Harris (Judy Brown), Samuel Joslin (Jonathan Brown), Imelda Staunton (Aunt Lucy) and Ben Whishaw (voice of Paddington). New cast members include Hugh Grant as Phoenix Buchanan and Brendan Gleeson as Knuckles McGinty. Here's the official synopsis for the sequel below.

"Paddington is 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 100th 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."

This Paddington sequel, is directed by directed by Paul King from a script the director co-wrote with Simon Farnaby. Paddington is one of the classic characters of English children's literature, who was first introduced in 1958 in the first of a series of books by author Michael Bond. David Heyman is producing Paddington 2, with Rosie Alison and Alexandra Ferguson serving as executive producers. Now that a release date has been set, hopefully we'll find out more about Paddington 2 in the near future.