The original Paddington movie, a massive hit in 2015, was distributed by The Weinstein Company. But in the light of the extremely family-unfriendly allegations against Weinstein, the makers of Paddington 2 were determined that they didn’t want his company to distribute their movie in North America. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, North American distribution rights have been snapped up by Warner Bros. The movie is being distributed by its co-producers, StudioCanal, in Australia, and will be released next month.
In news that will shock and upset almost no one, The Weinstein Company has been slapped with a bunch of lawsuits and is facing bankruptcy.
It’s all good for parents. Now there’s no need to feel like you have to boycott this family movie, which Weinstein had no hand in producing. Already released in the UK, where it’s been another massive hit, Paddington 2 opens in Australia on December 21.
It currently has a 100 per cent approval rating on film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty impressive for a family movie. In this case, “family movie” isn’t code for “endurance test for parents”.
Mostly live-action – apart from the CGI-animated Paddington Bear – the very British movie features some of Britain’s biggest stars. Dad Henry Brown is played by Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, while Hugh Grant is Phoenix Buchanan, a former film star reduced to making dog food ads.
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It’s always a bonus when you can sit down to a Hugh Grant comedy and claim you’re doing it for the kids.
So what children’s movies should you avoid if you want to make sure you’re not contributing another cent to Harvey Weinstein? Well, fortunately, The Weinstein Company hasn’t made that many good ones.
In 2006, Weinstein was inspired to make a US version of The Magic Roundabout called Doogal. Critics voted it one of the worst movies of the year, with Entertainment Weekly claiming that “very young children should be angry”. The company had a hit with Hoodwinked! back in 2006, but the 2011 sequel Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil was a bomb. It also had a hand in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie TMNT in 2007, and it distributed the last Spy Kids movie, 2011’s Spy Kids: All The Time In The World.
Weinstein movies to possibly avoid in the future? Well, there’s The War With Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken, due to be released early next year. The company also announced last year that it would be making a Furby movie. Writers have been hired, but the future of the feature film about the 1990s fad toy is said to be uncertain.
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