New “LEGO” Movies Announced

New “LEGO” Movies Announced

Warner Bros. has announced plans to make sequels and spinoffs to The LEGO Movie.

Back in February, the studio announced a May 26, 2017 release date for the official sequel to this year’s box office smash, which earned over $257 million in the U.S. alone. Now they have declared two additional dates: May 25, 2018 and May 24, 2019.

Perhaps somewhat frustratingly for fans, the announcements are part of a recent trend in which far-off release dates are “claimed” by studios that hold popular franchises, without revealing any specifics about the movies themselves. This is done to stake out prime release dates, with the hope of scaring rivals away from releasing competing films on the same weekend.

What we do know is that a LEGO Ninjago spinoff has already been announced for Sept. 23, 2016. It stands to reason that Warner Bros. is planning one of these new dates for a sequel to that film, should it be a success. The 2019 date could be planned with The LEGO Movie 3 in mind, although the possibility of something altogether different cannot be discounted.

Regardless of the lack of specific information, the news is noteworthy for what it means to the key players. Warner Bros. has been looking to establish itself in the animation game, much the way Pixar and DreamWorks Animation have. The success – and spinoff-readiness – of The LEGO Movie could allow for that to happen. The studio’s previous attempt at gaining such a foothold, the Happy Feet series, fell apart when the second film performed substantially worse than the original.

For the LEGO Group, this is a further expansion of their brand. The move into movies has raised the visibility of their product even higher, while also increasing its popularity with adults. Several recent sets, such as the LEGO Ghostbusters kit, have been aimed squarely at adults, and have capitalized on grownups’ nostalgia for the building blocks. The adaptability and versatility of LEGO will potentially allow them to be represented onscreen in a variety of different ways that will appeal to both adults and children.

What do you think of LEGO’s expansion into the movie world? What kind of LEGO movie would you like to see? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

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Mike McGranaghan is the film critic for The Aisle Seat. His film writing can also be found at Film Racket and Daily Grindhouse, and his reviews are heard weekly on the radio stations of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society, as well as the author of two books, "Straight-Up Blatant" and "My Year of Chevy."