The Little Prince theatrical release is back on in the U.S., following Paramount’s mysterious decision to drop its March 18th release. Less than a week after Paramount acknowledged it had cancelled American distribution of the film, Netflix stepped up and acquired U.S. rights to the film, but did not offer any details beyond that.
Netflix has now firmed up its plans, giving Little Prince a day-and-date U.S. release in theaters and Netflix streaming on August 5. The month of August is typically a slow period for major film releases, but this year will be especially competitive for animation with a number of noteworthy animated projects. The week after Little Prince, Sony will release the R-rated cartoon Sausage Party and Disney will reveal its live-action/CG remake of Pete’s Dragon, and the following weekend, Focus Features delivers the hotly anticipated stop motion project Kubo and the Two Strings.
Netflix still hasn’t revealed how wide of a theatrical release the film will receive, but the provocative strategy of simultaneous theatrical and streaming availability has never been attempted before for a major animated film. In any case, how the film performs in theaters could ultimately be less important for Netflix than establishing themselves as a distributor of quality animation.