Do you ever get that weird feeling that an off-hand prediction you made a long time ago actually came true, one way or another? That’s exactly how I felt with this breaking news story.
Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have confirmed to Deadline earlier this afternoon that The Secret Life of Pets is indeed getting a sequel, just as the film crossed $400 million worldwide today.
Simply titled The Secret Life of Pets 2, the film is set for a July 13, 2018 release date. Nothing else has been revealed other than that director Chris Renaud will be back in the director’s chair (no news on if his co-director Yarrow Cheney will return) and Pets co-writer Brian Lynch will return to write the screenplay.
Now, surely everybody on this website must have seen this coming from miles away (and for good reason). So, why is this story noteworthy at all? Because I predicted that this was going to happen!
In October of last year, Illumination Entertainment set three release dates for untitled ‘franchise’ films: July 13, 2018; July 3, 2019; and July 10, 2020.
In that article, I said this: “Perhaps they hope The Secret Life of Pets and/or the untitled musical are potential franchise starters.” That was the first theory I brought up when talking about what Illumination meant by the words ‘franchise film.’ As it turns out, not only was I right about The Secret Life of Pets being a franchise starter, but it also confirmed a long-held suspicion I had ever since I wrote that article: Illumination Entertainment has reserved those dates for films that are installments of their respective franchises.
Now, let me end this on a bold prediction regarding the last two dates. Barring any surprises between now and then, July 3, 2019 will go to a Minions sequel. There’s no way they are letting the Depicable Me franchise rest after Despicable Me 3, and the titular Minions have long been the company’s mascot characters. Minions, which was released in July of last year, was Illumination’s first film to cross $1 billion (to the sound of rigorous controversy and heated debate). Color me surprised if Minions 2 doesn’t get announced for the 2019 slot.
July 10, 2020 will go to a Sing sequel or Despicable Me 4. The former is more of a stretch than the latter, but that’s only because we have yet to know if it will do that well at the box office (it probably will). As for Despicable Me 4… In addition to what I said above about Illumination not letting their flagship franchise go to rest, putting Despicable Me 4 on the 2020 window would theoretically follow in the franchises tradition of having a three-year break between each installment. Granted, Despicable Me 3 will break that tradition a little by rolling into theaters in 2017, roughly four years after Despicable Me 2 bowed in 2013.
Once again, I would definitely be surprised if my predictions are false (and in a weird way, I welcome that). I’m sure there’s still room for a surprise from Illumination somewhere.
What do you think? Do you have any theories for Illumination ‘franchise’ films that take the two remaining dates?
Edited by: Kajsa Rain Forden