LEGO and Universal Pictures have announced a five-year exclusive agreement to develop, produce and distribute more movies based on LEGO licenses. This pact includes all the film rights for previously released titles, so we could see the next installment of franchises like The LEGO Movie as well as new additions to the LEGO film universe.
Previously, Warner Bros. via the Warner Animated Group had produced a total of four movies over a span of 6 years but made the decision by the end of December 2019 not to renew the license agreement with LEGO to make more big-screens titles. While the first LEGO movie was considered a box-office hit, and the total takings from the four movies combined grossed over $1.1 billion globally, individually the later titles (The LEGO Batman Movie, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part) did not bring in the same box office expectations. There was interest from Universal pictures with involvement in LEGO films following their work on the Jurassic Park LEGO miniseries, and now the two companies have finally closed on the agreement.
Here’s the press release from LEGO in full:
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA—April 23, 2020— Universal Pictures today announced that the studio has entered into a five-year exclusive agreement with the LEGO Group to develop, produce and distribute theatrical releases based on its intellectual property and original ideas. The announcement was made by Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and Jill Wilfert, Head of Entertainment, the LEGO Group.
Capitalizing on its timeless brand, the LEGO Group’s expansion into content creation with titles including The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie, The LEGO Ninjago Movie and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, has grossed nearly $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office. Universal and LEGO have previously collaborated on the television special, Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit and the 13-episode mini-series LEGO Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar.
“The LEGO System in Play gives people the ability to build worlds and create stories that they carry throughout every phase of their lives,” said Langley. “To partner with such an iconic brand that remains relevant and is constantly evolving allows for creativity in storytelling. We’re thrilled to start building out the next chapter of LEGO movies together with Jill and the LEGO team as they continue to inspire curiosity and innovation.”
“Universal’s commitment to unique storytelling from diverse voices makes the Studio the perfect partner as the LEGO Group enters this new phase of filmmaking,” said Wilfert. “Donna and the entire Universal team bring a sense of wonder and imagination we share, and we can’t wait to execute on our shared vision.”
Wilfert will serve as producer on all LEGO projects developed and released by Universal. Rideback’s Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich will produce alongside Wilfert on the next LEGO-inspired feature. Lin produced all previous LEGO features.
The LEGO Group was represented in the deal by Ken Kleinberg and Jill Smith from Kleinberg, Lange, Cuddy and Carlo.