Lego Batman, 'Lego Movie Sequel' release dates move up, 'Ninjago' pushed

Warner Bros. shuffles release dates for its 'Lego Movie' franchise

Warner Bros. has blocked out new dates for the next three movies in its "Lego" animated franchise.

The studio's yet-untitled Lego Batman movie will open Feb. 10, 2017, a few months earlier than its previously planned release in May of that year.

The ninja-centric spinoff movie "Ninjago," which had been slated to hit theaters in fall 2016, now will open Sept. 22, 2017.

And "The Lego Movie Sequel," the direct follow-up to 2014's "The Lego Movie," has been nudged forward one week, to May 18, 2018.

The burgeoning Lego franchise has become a focus for Warner Bros. since the blockbuster success of "The Lego Movie," written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Released in February last year, the movie grossed more than $468 million worldwide and earned stellar reviews with its self-referential humor and distinctive visuals.

Lord and Miller are returning to write the script for "Sequel" and will serve as producers on all three films, which are being directed by Chris McKay (Lego Batman), Charlie Bean ("Ninjago") and Rob Schrab ("Sequel").

"These three films already in the pipeline are just the beginning of a creative and diverse animation slate that will be delighting audiences for years to come," Dan Fellman, Warner's president of domestic distribution, said in an announcement Monday.

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