... Warner Bros. gave up a whopping chunk of its profits from the blockbuster Lego Movie, but it won't make the same mistake twice. Sources say Village Roadshow Pictures has not been invited back for the sequel that is being developed by animation guru Chris McKay.
"Obviously, they didn't have confidence in it," says one source. "If you don't really know animation, you would look at that movie [while in production] and think it's awful. If you do understand animation, it was so clever because it felt different. It was cool. But somebody [at Warners] made the judgment that it wasn't cool. Why else would you sell off almost three-quarters of a $65 million movie?" ...
Warners has a history of not being good at feature animation. Their feature animation studio, built in the 1990s, was pretty much still-born. Their pictures with Animal Logic have been hit and miss. And they famously botched up the selling of Brad Bird's Iron Giant.
If Warners gave away a large chunk of The Lego Movie, they clearly didn't know what they had on their hands. But the WB is not alone in making bad decisions. Disney sold off most of the iconic hit The Sixth Sense before its release. Fox was attempting to sell Blue Sky Studios while the first Ice Age was in production. And the Mouse shelved the billion-dollar Frozen because it was gun-shy about "Princess pictures".
It's easy to misjudge a cartoon movie when your paranoid about making a misstep and getting fired, plus you have no meaningful creative chops of your own. As William Goldman says: "In Hollywood, nobody knows anything."