It’s no secret that Sony Pictures Animation’s two live-action/animation hybrid films based on The Smurfs weren’t very well received. The first film, however, was a box office smash. While it was a leggy success in North America, the film did even better overseas and grossed a huge $563 million by the end of its run. The Smurfs 2 also made a profit back in the summer of 2013, but it opened rather poorly here with an unimpressive $17 million (nearly half of what the first film opened with). In May 2014, Sony announced that the third film in that Smurfs series was a goner.
Enter the new “Untitled Animated Smurfs” project.
This new Smurfs film is to be directed by Shrek 2 and Gnomeo & Juliet director Kelly Asbury. It is a reboot and will be nothing like the previous two hybrid films. Sony Pictures Animation has made it clear that this will be an all-animated film and that it will also feel more like the original comic strip by Peyo. This change is, arguably, great news for animation fans and fans of the comic. Additionally, Asbury himself went as far as to create a blog chronicling the production of the film. This information all indicates that the studio wants to make something good and memorable (not dissimilar to what Blue Sky is doing with The Peanuts Movie).
The new Smurfs film was originally slated for an August 5, 2016 release. The film was pushed back to March 31, 2017 in order to take advantage of the Easter weekend and to give Mr. Asbury and crew more time. This information was announced on the aforementioned production blog a little earlier today. This new date puts the film one week before Blue Sky’s Ferdinand, but a good three weeks after the opening of DreamWorks’ Captain Underpants. Whether this a smart choice for the release date or not is an argument for another day. (Some may argue that putting the film too close to Ferdinand could possibly hurt both films. Others may say it’s no big deal and that both will do fine.)
Do you think the current release date for this Smurfs reboot is a good date? What are your thoughts on Sony Animation making a Smurfs film that’s more like the original comic strip? Are you looking forward to the new Smurfs film? Sound off below!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes