LEGO’s deal with Warner Bros. expired in the autumn, and since then the toy company has been looking for a new film partner. They may have found one in Universal Pictures. Although Universal already has a successful animation department, Illumination Entertainment, behind franchises like The Secret Life Of Pets and Despicable Me, the studio is reportedly in talks with LEGO for an exclusive partnership.
THR reports that many studios sought a deal with the company, and that we can expect plenty more LEGO movies, whichever studio they end up with. That’s despite the last few LEGO movies underperforming at the box office.
2014’s The LEGO Movie was a surprise hit after being assumed to be a corporate cash grab before release, grossing $468 million worldwide. Naturally, that led to spinoffs and sequels. 2017’s The LEGO Batman Movie was a hit, but not nearly as big. And The LEGO Ninjago Movie and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part performed poorly worldwide.
That is not exactly the kind of performance LEGO, the world’s largest toy company since 2015, is going to be happy with. The company reported a $5.5 billion revenue in 2018, which gives them reason to believe their film and entertainment properties could bounce back in the future.
The above report states that, should the Universal deal go through, Roadback and CEO Dan Lin, who produced the previous LEGO films, will remain producers. What’s most interesting is where this would lead the LEGO franchise? Would we see sequels to the existing properties, or brand new stories and characters?
We’ll see what happens. Considering the potentially massive reach (and profits) of any LEGO-related film, expect Universal – or whoever – to keep trying to push the brand heavily. There’s plenty more LEGO movies to come, that’s for sure.