Lionsgate has staked out a prime summer slot for the sequel to a surprise hit and slapped a new acquisition into the heart of next year’s awards season. The mini-major said today that Now You See Me 2, Summit’s follow-up to the pic that heisted $351.7 million worldwide last year, will open June 10, 2016. As of now, the Jon M. Chu-helmed sequel — which returns key cast members including Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco — is up only against Sony’s vidgame adaptation Uncharted that weekend. Ed Solomon and Pete Chiarelli wrote the screenplay.
Lionsgate today also set a Christmas Day 2015 release for Dirty Grandpa, the Robert De Niro-Zac Efron road-trip comedy it acquired Monday at Toronto. The film, which Universal picked up as a spec script in 2011 and later put into turnaround, follows a foul-mouthed former Army general who gets to know his grandson who’s about to marry a girl who is not right for him. Directed by Dan Mazer and scripted by John Phillips, the tentatively titled Dirty Grandpa steps into Christmas next year against Fox’s David O. Russell-helmed drama Joy and Paramount’s Tom Cruise action sequel Mission: Impossible 5. Fox and DreaamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3 hits theaters two days before on Wednesday, December 23.