NOTE: This article was updated after publication with new information.
The LEGO® Group and Universal Studios announced a deal today. The deal covers movies based on the LEGO® Group’s intellectual properties and original ideas. Universal will develop, produce, and distribute theatrical releases exclusively for five years.
Warner Brothers Animation released previous LEGO® films. The first being the smash hit, The LEGO® Movie. The film earned over $400 million worldwide. Following that, The LEGO® Batman Movie broke $300 million. However, subsequent films have not fared as well. The LEGO® Ninjago Movie earned $120 million. The LEGO® Movie 2 reached just over $190 million. Consequently, Warner Brothers and the LEGO® Group did not renew their previous contract in late 2019.
The new arrangement with Universal Studios is not out of the blue. Universal and the LEGO® Group previously collaborated on Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit and Jurassic World: The Legend of Isla Nublar. The former was a TV special while the latter was a miniseries. However, this new deal is bad news for a lot of established LEGO® movie characters. While the deal covers the LEGO® Group’s intellectual property, the arrangement also stipulates “original ideas”. I reached out to Universal Studios media relations upon hearing this news. They confirmed that “characters from previous films will not be in future movies”.
Finally, Warner Brothers produces a large number of direct-to-home-video titles. DC Comics related films automatically spring to mind. These are not theatrical releases, so are they still fair game? Universal Studios had little to say about it. However, they did not say it was impossible. So, it seems that if it is not a theatrical release, it can potentially happen. I suppose only time will tell for sure. For more LEGO® related news, click here.
Until next time,
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