As Disney's animated blockbuster "Zootopia" dominates the box office, Paramount has backed out of releasing animated pick-up "The Little Prince" in the U.S., director Mark Osborne confirmed via Twitter. "All I can say is #thelittleprince will in fact be released by another distributor later this year. ... Until then, head to Canada! The film opens there in wide release this weekend!"
The co-director of Oscar-nominated "Kung Fu Panda" won a Cesar for Best Animated film for "The Little Prince," which debuted out of competition at Cannes and has grossed $80 million internationally, including Canada. It was scheduled to open stateside on March 18.
The well-reviewed family-friendly feature, based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery's 1943 children's classic, with a voice cast including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and Paul Rudd, would likely have scored far better than Paramount's most recent animated pickup, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's R-rated "Anomalisa," which has so far grossed less than $3 million in North American theatrical release. But that left a bitter taste, as "Inside Out" inevitably won the Oscar, and "Zootopia" is still going strong.