Has Weinstein Co. Delayed ‘Underdogs’ Yet Again?
Next Friday’s American release of the Argentinean feature Underdogs appears to have been delayed — for the third time. Last night, Deadline reported that The Weinstein Company had “pulled its animated title Underdogs off next weekend’s schedule and has not yet set a new date.”
Directed by Oscar-winning Juan José Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes), Underdogs, also know as Metegol and Foosball, was a huge hit in its home country of Argentina when it was released in 2013, becoming that country’s third-highest grossing film of the year. It otherwise performed respectably around the globe, grossing $25 million worldwide, a significant sum for a Latin American animated feature.
The film was picked up by the Weinstein brothers in March 2014, and slated for an August 27, 2014 release. It was then pushed back to January 16, 2015, rescheduled for April 10, 2015, and pushed back again to its current August 14 date, which now seems to be in question.
The Weinsteins have invested money into Americanizing the film, for better and worse, and added a celebrity voice cast that includes Ariana Grande, Bella Thorne, John Leguizamo, Katie Holmes, and Chazz Palminteri, among others.
If Deadline’s report is accurate, then it must have been a last-second decision because the Weinstein Company’s own website still lists the film as coming out next week. However, even if it does open next Friday as planned, the film is all but guaranteed to fail since its release has had virtually zero promotional effort.
For all their success with live-action films, the Weinsteins have historically been — and continue to be — remarkably incompetent with all things animation. Whether it’s released next Friday or not, their mishandling of Campanella’s Underdogs is just one more in a long line of cartoon goof-ups for the Weinsteins.