With the future of the Weinstein Company already uncertain, the backers of the family film “Paddington 2” are looking to sever distribution ties with the company, Variety has confirmed.
According to The Guardian, Heyday Films and French company StudioCanal, the co-producers of the film, feel that a movie that caters to children shouldn’t remain associated with the sex harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
TWC also distributed the first “Paddington” film in the U.S. through its TWC-Dimension label, where it grossed $76.3 million, making it one of the company’s highest-grossing movies. Bob Weinstein has referred to “Paddington 2” as a reason why TWC’s future is not completely dire, and if the contract is not terminated, “Paddington 2” may become TWC’s biggest hit since 2012’s “Django Unchained.” The film is set for release in November in the U.K. by StudioCanal and January in the U.S. via TWC-Dimension.
“TWC has had nothing to do with the making of ‘Paddington’ and ‘Paddington 2.’ They simply acquired the North American distribution right,” a source told The Guardian. “When dealing with people’s lives, it feels inappropriate to comment on the business of film. Suffice to say our hope is that another distributor will be found.”
The company is still contractually obligated to honor its distribution deal with TWC-Dimension, which was signed back in 2013, but has the opportunity to retrieve the rights if TWC goes under.
Should Heyday and StudioCanal succeed in regaining distribution control, both companies will find another competing distributor to launch the film in the U.S.