This article was originally posted by Deadline Magazine, November 2021
Universal has set a release date for DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls 3 for Nov. 17, 2023.
This is the first announcement of the threequel, which isn’t shocking given that the pic’s extensive brand value, not to mention the first movie earned $350M at the global B.O. and the sequel last year, Trolls World Tour, grossed more than $100M on PVOD during the pandemic when theaters were shutdown.
Trolls 3, unlike its 2020 predecessor, will be an exclusive theatrical release for 17 days before going on PVOD. It’s not clear yet if Trolls director Walt Dohrn is returning to helm the threequel. Universal already had the Nov. 17 date blocked off where it’s currently up against a Paramount Pictures untitled Ryan Reynolds-John Krasinski movie.
Originally, the studio had reserved Sept. 22, 2023 for an untitled animated movie. Universal initially sparked a big controversy with exhibition when it first announced that Trolls World Tour was going theatrical day-and-date on PVOD; this was just as cinemas were closing due to the pandemic. This escalated into a public letter from AMC Boss Adam Aron to Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Donna Langley, that the No. 1 circuit in the world would not play day-and-date releases. Emotions eventually calmed with Universal and AMC breaking ground on closing the theatrical window for movies on a 17-day and 30-day basis with the movie chain getting a cut of PVOD monies.
The first Trolls was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar, the Justin Timberlake song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” which was a massive hit, going quadruple platinum. The Trolls brand expands to more than movies, including a hit TV series, a prime-time holiday special, original digital content, video games, toys, live-entertainment touring shows, Universal Studios Parks’ attractions and experiential installations across the globe.
This Friday, Nov. 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, NBC will premiere Trolls Holiday in Harmony, an all-new holiday special featuring the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and much of the cast of Trolls World Tour. Logline: as the holidays near, Queen Poppy plans the First Annual Trolls Kingdom Secret Holiday Gift Swap. But things take an unexpected turn when she and Branch draw each other’s name. Meanwhile Tiny Diamond comes down with a bad case of writers’ block, trying to think of a special holiday rap for his dad.
Universal Pictures also announced that an untitled Blumhouse movie will open on June 24, 2022.