In a year of U.S. animation box office disappointments (The Lego Movie 2, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Missing Link), STX Entertainment aims to avoid that fate with its upcoming Playmobil: The Movie. Hoping to better its chances at box office success, the studio has shifted the release date of the pricy $75-million Lino DiSalvo-directed film from August 30 to December 6.
According to a report in Deadline, STX moved Playmobil so it could devote its promotional and advertising resources to next month’s release of Hustlers, a film that it believes has the potential to be a breakout hit.
Earlier this year, STX released its first animated feature, Uglydolls, which earned just $20 million in the U.S. on a $45 million budget. STX produced Uglydolls start to finish, while Playmobil is a distribution pick-up from Europe’s Studiocanal and On Animation. Playmobil will still be released in many international markets beginning this week.
By shifting Playmobil from its August release slot, the film will avoid The Angry Birds Movie 2 which opens August 14, however, it may face an even tougher uphill battle in its new December date, since Frozen 2 will release two weeks earlier, on November 22.
Playmobil is based on the German toyline, and was produced by On Animation’s studio in Montreal, Canada, which is part of the Paris-based company On Kids & Family. The film marks the directorial debut of DiSalvo, who worked at Disney for 16 years, most notably as head of animation on Frozen. DiSalvo, who also developed the story, directed from a screenplay by Blaise Hemingway, Greg Erb, and Jason Oremland.