Universal Pushes ‘The Wild Robot’ Off ‘Transformers One’ Opening Weekend

Universal has moved back the release date of DreamWorks Animation’s “The Wild Robot” by one week to September 27.

In doing so, the animated movie based on Peter Brown’s bestselling novel series will avoid direct competition with Paramount’s animated film “Transformers One,” which is set to be released on Sept. 20. The film also has an extra week of distance from Warner Bros.’ “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice,” which is expected to be the top grossing film of September when it is released on Labor Day weekend.

“The Wild Robot” features an ensemble cast led by Lupita Nyong’o as ROZZUM Unit 7134 — or “Roz” for short — who is is shipwrecked on an uninhabited island and must learn to adapt to the harsh surroundings, gradually building relationships with the animals on the island and becoming the adoptive parent of an orphaned gosling.

Catherine O’Hara, Bill Nighy, Stephanie Hsu, Mark Hamill and Ving Rhames are also among those in the voice cast for the film. The film is directed by Chris Sanders, whose credits include “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Lilo & Stitch.”

While not as lucrative as the summer blockbuster season, the late September/early October release period is a popular one for studios to release family films. With “Transformers One” and “The Wild Robot” coming out within a week of each other, it will be a test of whether moviegoers will have enough interest to support both films theatrically.

While both “Transformers One” and “The Wild Robot” will be competing for families’ attention and dollars, there isn’t total overlap in their core demographics. In addition to families, “Transformers One” will also attempt to build out the fanbase for the long-running franchise while appealing to the diehards who have shown up in theaters for the live-action/CGI series started by Michael Bay in 2007.

“The Wild Robot,” meanwhile, will try to appeal to general audiences with stunning visuals and an emotional story about a robot discovering a found family in the wilderness, and could leg out if critical and audience reception is strong even with the IP-driven buzz that will be driving “Transformers One” prior to its release.

In addition to “The Wild Robot,” Universal has slated two more DreamWorks Animation titles for release in 2025: an adaptation of Dav Pikey’s “Dog Man” in January and a sequel to “The Bad Guys” in August.

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