Illumination Entertainment, Studios, The Latest Animation News

Illumination Entertainment’s ‘Grinch’ Remake Pushed Back to November 2018

Share on Pinterest


It was one of the big projects touted by Illumination Entertainment during Universal Pictures’ presentation at CinemaCon 2016. The directors (Pete Candeland and Yarrow Cheney) and screenwriter (Micahel LeSieur of You, Me, and Dupree fame) were in place and a leading actor was found (Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character). But as was learned earlier this week, we’ll have to wait a little longer to see this version of Dr. Seuss’ beloved story.

As Deadline reported, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have pushed back the release date of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Originally dated for November 10, 2017, the film will now bow in theaters on November 9, 2018. This makes Grinch the second Illumination film dated for 2018 (another film will bow on July 13 of that year), leaving Despicable Me 3 as the sole film release from that studio.

On it’s original release dates, Grinch would have had to fight off 20th Century Fox’s remake of Murder on the Orient Express on November 10 and Warner Bros/DC Films’ Justice League on November 17. In its new slot, Grinch won’t have any head-on competition until the next Friday after, when Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts 2 hits theaters on November 16.

As for the reasoning behind what is now the third shift in dates for the film, Deadline’s report hinted at a standard, plausible reason for why animated films get delayed: to allow the production team as much time as needed to turn out the best end product possible.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Illumination Entertainment delayed a film. Minions was originally set for December 19, 2014, but was pushed back to July 10, 2015. Reportedly, Universal’s reasoning for the delay was that they wanted to repeat the successful July 2013 launch of Despicable Me 2, on top of capitalizing on the merchandise potential of a Summer film.

In theory, a longer development cycle should give Universal and Illumination enough time to prep a strong marketing campaign for How the Grinch Stole Christmas (because why wouldn’t they?). The mystery (or mysteries) left to solve is who else they will cast and how much will people love it (or hate it) in comparison to the infamous live-action adaptation that stared Jim Carrey.

What do you think? Any thoughts on the expanded wait? Are you still looking forward to Illumination Entertainment’s version of The Grinch?

Share on Pinterest

About Brandon Smith

Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.
  • Manuel Orozco

    I can manage with waiting two more years for the Grinch movie. Now it does have to compete with Justice League and Thor Rangarok anymore.

  • Fluffydips

    It’s a good idea. There’s no competition currently in November 2018 with no Disney*Pixar release planned either.

    • Callum

      There is the Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2. Which will likely be a huge film.

      Disney also have a movie out on November 8, 2018. An untitled live-action fairy tale film –

      • Manuel Orozco

        You never know if it’ll change. Besides Marry Poppins Returns is set for a month later Christmas Day

      • Fluffydips

        They can push it up a week if they really need to. There’s no animated competition right now in late 2018.

  • Ernesto Chacon

    Don’t forget that Illumination also pushed The Secret Life of Pets was also pushed back from it’s original February 2016 release date to July 8, 2016.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Which may not be a big deal after all

      • Ernesto Chacon

        I know, I was also pointing out another Illumination film that was pushed back from it’s original release date.

        • Manuel Orozco

          Which was okay but let’s see what happens next month

  • Ryan Prieto

    I was looking forward to watching it a bit earlier. But I would rather see it when its ready and at its best. Crazy to think that far ahead.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I feel the same way as you. I was skeptical of this happening mainly because I never saw the live action version. However, when I read how different it was going to be from it I started to get a little interested in this one.

  • Well its too early for me to be disappointed but hopefully it is for the best