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'Final Destination 5,' 'Journey 2,' 'Valentine's Day' Follow-up Snare 2011 Dates

by Ray Subers
 

 
May 14, 2010

Warner Bros. Pictures continued to expand its 2011 schedule with a set of surprise release date announcements this evening that included three high profile sequels and new movies from Steven Soderbergh and Catherine Hardwicke.

Despite The Final Destination being advertised as the last in the series, audiences will get at least one more chance to revel in gruesome 3D deaths when Final Destination 5 opens Aug. 26, 2011. Final Destination got the series off to a solid start in 2000, grossing $53.3 million. Subsequent entries Final Destination 2 and Final Destination 3 made $46.96 and $54.1 million, respectively. Opening at the end of August last year, The Final Destination, the first of the series to be in 3D, hit a series high of $66.5 million, so it should come as no surprise that Warner Bros. greenlit a fifth installment. Final Destination 5 is currently the only release scheduled for Aug. 26, 2011.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 2 opens in 3D and IMAX on Sept. 23, 2011. Released in July 2008, Journey to the Center of the Earth rose above humble expectations to gross $101.7 million domestically and an additional $140 million overseas. No word at the moment as to whether stars Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutherson and Anita Briem will be reprising their roles for the sequel. Journey to the Center of the Earth 2 shares Sept. 23 with Underworld 4.

New Year's Eve comes a little early next year, debuting Dec. 9, 2011. It's the follow-up to Valentine's Day, which just closed out its successful run last Thursday at $110.5 million. The sequel, also directed by Garry Marshall, will follow interconnecting stories set in New York on New Year's Eve. As the previous installment was set in Los Angeles, it seems logical that there will be an almost entirely new all-star cast recruited for this project. New Year's Eve debuts opposite Martin Scorsese-directed 3D children's book adaptation Hugo Cabret.

Steven Soderbergh looks to jump back in the big-budget arena with his first 3D movie, action thriller Contagion (3D), which is now scheduled for Oct. 21, 2011. According to Warner Bros., Contagion follows doctors at the Center for Disease control and the World Health Organization as they try to deal with the outbreak of a new virus. Soderbergh has lined up an impressive cast for the project, including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Laurence Fishburne. Contagion will have a simultaneous IMAX release, and is currently the only movie set for Oct. 2011.

After directing international sensation Twilight, director Catherine Hardwicke will remain in the fantasy arena with Red Riding Hood, which is now dated Apr. 22, 2011. Starring Amanda Seyfried, Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez, the movie will retell the classic fairy tale, pitting a girl (Seyfried) against the werewolf that haunts her village every full moon. Red Riding Hood shares the April 22 date with Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family and Disneynature documentary African Cats.

Warner Bros. also released a set of less-significant but still noteworthy schedule changes. The Apparition, a supernatural horror movie featuring Twilight's Ashley Greene, is now scheduled for Sept. 9, 2011. Also added were comedy Late Bloomer (Aug. 12, 2011) and IMAX feature Born to Be Wild (Apr. 8, 2011).

All told, Warner Bros. now has 18 movies scheduled for 2011, by far the most of any studio, and five of those releases are set for IMAX.

20th Century Fox chimed in as well earlier this afternoon with two updates. The Sitter, a comedy that finds Jonah Hill having a wild night while babysitting three challenging kids, opens July 15, opposite Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part Two) and Winnie the Pooh. We Bought a Zoo, which tells the true story of a family who bought and refurbished a dilapidated zoo, was added to the prime Dec. 23 date, where it will face The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

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