×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Warner Bros. Wins Bidding War for ‘Paddington 2’

Warner Bros. Pictures is taking over U.S. distribution on “Paddington 2” from the troubled Weinstein Company and will keep the planned Jan. 12 release date for the family comedy.

Paddington 2” opened solidly in the U.K. last weekend with $10.9 million, 60% above its predecessor. It’s fully financed by Studiocanal and produced by David Heyman. Warner bought distribution rights for the film in the U.S. and Canada from Studiocanal and TWC/Dimension Film for an undisclosed price.

The sequel stars Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin. Ben Whishaw is the voice of Paddington, who is searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday.

The original “Paddington” over-performed in 2015 with $76 million domestically and $191 million overseas.

Variety reported exclusively on Nov. 13 that TWC was trying to find a buyer for “Paddington 2” before the indie film studio files for bankruptcy protection. TWC’s  board of directors and leadership had been negotiating with Vine Investment Advisors and Fortress Investment Group about a possible $20 million to $35 million bridge loan that would enable the company to meet its payroll obligations.

The company is known to have retained FTI Consulting, a financial advisory firm that’s well-versed in corporate restructuring. Insiders say the Weinstein Co. is saddled with as much as $500 million in debt and obligations. The company’s fiscal crisis has been exacerbated by the extraordinary wave of sexual assault allegations leveled against co-founder and former co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.

More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content