DreamWorks Animation is riding strong early notices ahead of today’s bow of How To Train Your Dragon 2, good news the company needs after disappointments on three of its past four films. After releasing a trailer yesterday for its November 2015 pic The Penguins Of Madagascar, today comes a first look at Home, the 3D aliens-hiding-on-Earth tale featuring the voices of Jim Parsons, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin and Rihanna. It it set for a March 27, 2015 bow via Fox. Tim Johnson directed the movie based on Adam Rex’s novel The True Meaning Of Smekday. Check it out:
Less than a month before the release of its tentpole sequel How To Train Your Dragon 2, DreamWorks has flipped the dates for its next two films. Madagascar spinoff The Penguins Of Madagascar is moving up from March 27, 2015, to a Thanksgiving week bow of November 26. It’s switching places with Home, the aliens-hiding-on-Earth tale featuring the voices of Jim Parsons, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin and Rihanna. The move comes days after DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s high-profile day in the Cannes spotlight, when Dragon 2 premiered on the Croisette and he received France’s Commander of the Order Of Arts And Letters honor. The date switch also follows the underperformance of the company’s most recent pic, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which led to a $57M write-down in Q1. In fact, three of the studio’s past four films have failed to deliver, which Katzenberg blamed on “inconsistent execution” and other factors tied to marketing and scheduling.
Related: Cannes: DreamWorks Animation Celebrates 20 As ‘Dragon 2′ Breathes Fire On The Fest
EXCLUSIVE: Domestic rights to Home, the thriller from writer-director Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact), have been acquired by IFC Midnight following the pic’s premiere last month at SXSW. The Midnight selection stars Naya Rivera (Glee), Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ashley Rickards (Awkward), Wyatt Russell and Ava Acres in the story of an ambitious real estate agent (Moreno) who’s selling a house with a checkered past. When she tries to help the runaway daughter of the property’s owners, she and her sister (Rivera) cross paths with a sinister supernatural force. IFC Midnight will release Home in theaters and on VOD this year. Sonny Mallhi’s Candlewood Entertainment financed the film – its first feature – which was exec produced by Gina Resnick, Kyle Heller, and Jeremy Platt. Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films, Bec Smith of UTA Independent Film Group and by IFC’s Sean Berney negotiated the deal. XYZ Films is also handling international sales and have already sold rights in the UK (The Works) and France, Germany, and Spain (Wild Bunch).