After 65 years of beloved comic strips and animated specials, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of Peanuts gang finally returned to the big screen last weekend with The Peanuts Movie. Despite going up against the blockbuster James Bond movie Spectre, The Peanuts Movie more than held its own at the box office, taking in $44.2 million, earning nearly half of its $99 million budget back in the first weekend. Most studios would jump at the chance to announce a sequel right away, but a new report has surfaced from The Wrap, which reveals that fans shouldn't be holding their breath for a follow-up.
The site spoke with Jean Schulz, the widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, who revealed that 20th Century Fox only has the Peanuts rights for one movie. While she wouldn't close the door completely on a follow-up, Jean Schulz, who served as a producer on The Peanuts Movie, told the site that she is in no rush to produce a follow-up. Here's what she had to say below, adding that her husband would have been proud of the movie.
"This one took eight years, so maybe we'll talk again then. He would have been very proud of the care and effort that was taken in making it, and the movie too, because it reflected his vision."
The Peanuts comic strips debuted in 1950, with 17,897 comic strips published between then and February 2000, with the last strip arriving just one day after Charles M. Schulz died. No comic strips have been published in the 15 years following his death, since the creator didn't want anyone else taking over in his place. After the first animated special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, debuted in 1965, Charles M. Schulz turned down several offers from Hollywood to make a big-screen animated movie based on his characters. Jean Schulz revealed that The Peanuts Movie was born after the studio and director Steve Martino, who directed a faithful adaptation of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who, convinced Charles M. Schulz's family that they understood the late creator's vision.
"They convinced us that they understood his vision for Peanuts and that they would be true to its spirit."
Charles M. Schulz's son Craig Schulz and grandson Bryan Schulz came up with the concept and co-wrote the script with Cornelius Uliano. They also served as producers with Jean Schulz, Paul Feig and Michael J. Travers. Box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian revealed that the family's involvement helped the movie succeed.
"It was great that they got the family involved. It helped the comfort level for the longtime fans, and it helped that they stuck with classic look and tone of the strip, rather than try give it some kind of edge, too."
With an 86% "Fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes and an A CinemaScore grade, both fans and critics alike have been singing the praises of The Peanuts Movie. Do you think that there should be a sequel to The Peanuts Movie right away, or are you content to wait until Charles M. Schulz's family thinks the time is right? We'll keep you posted on any updates regarding a sequel to The Peanuts Movie, and check back on Sunday to see how the animated hit performs in its second weekend at the box office.