The long-awaited Coming to America sequel is bypassing theaters for a streaming platform.
Paramount Pictures sold Coming 2 America — the follow-up to Eddie Murphy’s hit 1988 film — to Amazon Studios for $125 million, Variety reported Tuesday. Final details of the agreement are being worked out.
The deal comes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hobble the movie industry, with revenue sharply down because many theaters remain shuttered.
On Sunday, box office traffic company Comscore reported that only 48 percent of theaters in the U.S. and Canada have reopened. The No. 1 film at the box office this past weekend, the Robert De Niro family film The War with Grandpa, grossed just $3.6 million.
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As previously reported, Coming 2 America will see Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, John Amos, Shari Headley, James Earl Jones, Paul Bates and Vanessa Bell Calloway reprising their roles.
The original film starred Murphy as Prince Akeem Joffer from the fictional African nation of Zamunda. In an effort to avoid an arranged marriage, Akeem and his trusted assistant Semmi (Arsenio Hall) travel to Queens, N.Y., to find his future queen. The film was directed by John Landis and grossed $288 million at the worldwide box office.
The sequel will pick up the story with Prince Akeem discovering he has a son he never knew about in America, as he prepares to become king of Zamunda. To honor his father’s dying wish to groom his grandson as a future leader, Akeem and Semmi return to America.
The film’s additional cast members include Jermaine Fowler, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, and Wesley Snipes.