Chances are, when you heard that Sony Pictures Animation was making The Emoji Movie, you assumed that it would be a shameless marketing strategy for various mobile phone applications. While the first teaser trailer doesn’t exactly confirm this, it does nothing to dispel that expectation, either.
Written and directed by Anthony Leondis (Igor), and co-written by Eric Siegel (Men At Work), The Emoji Movie promises an adventurous ride through your favourite digital landscapes – but whether the finished product will deliver on that promise is not clear from this promotional footage.
For more on what to expect, you can consult the official plot summary below:
“The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions.
Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana Glazer). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever. Directed by Tony Leondis. Written by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel and Mike White. Produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate.”
To be clear, it’s not a terrible teaser. It has a couple of jokes in it, which all work well. But Meh is just one emoji, and a successful movie requires much more than that. It’s entirely possible that Sony Pictures Animation intends to roll out its marketing for The Emoji Movie one emoji at a time – which would presumably mean that we won’t meet T.J Miller’s Gene for a while yet.
However it unfolds, this will be an interesting publicity push to watch, as the film heads for its release date of August 4th, 2017. This date is notable for the fact that, at the current time, The Emoji Movie is the only film set for release in August that is directly aimed at children. As we know, the major studios tend to book release dates far in advance for the films they expect to open well, so this is good news for The Emoji Movie for two reasons – firstly, the studio clearly has a great deal of faith in the project, and secondly, the film has little competition.
The only possible threats it has to its audience share is the as-yet untitled Disney fairy tale that is scheduled to arrive in cinemas on July 28th – but even that will be in its second week by the time The Emoji Movie arrives. Indeed, at this point, it seems that the box office of summer 2017 is Sony Animation Productions’ to lose.