Warner bought distribution rights for the film in the USA and Canada from Studiocanal and TWC/Dimension Film. Weinstein Co, the embattled studio cofounded by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, raised enough from the sale of distribution rights to the film Paddington 2 to fund operations while it seeks a buyer, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The original Paddington, based on a children's book series, brought in US$76.3 million for Weinstein Co at the North American box office in 2015. The sequel stars Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson alongside returning cast members Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, and Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington. Warner Bros. made the news official in a press release this morning. The bidding war between the different studios eventually reached the heights of $30 million, but since Paddington 2 picked up an impressive $10.8 million in its opening weekend in the United Kingdom, hopes are high for a strong return stateside as well.
Much like Paddington the bear himself, Paddington 2 has secured itself a new home.
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Variety reported exclusively on November 13 that TWC was trying to find a buyer for "Paddington 2" before the indie film studio files for bankruptcy protection.
Weinstein Co has been in survival mode after ousting its co-founder last month over allegations by several women that he harassed or assaulted them. TWC's board of directors and leadership had been negotiating with Vine Investment Advisors and Fortress Investment Group about a possible $20 million to $35 million bridge loan that would enable the company to meet its payroll obligations. Should the debut of Paddington 2 all go smoothly, however, this could end up being a very lucrative deal for the company.
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