In what was likely inevitable given the ongoing pandemic, Eddie Murphy‘s Coming to America sequel is skipping theaters and being sold to Amazon in a deal reportedly worth $125 million, according to Variety.
Should the deal close, Coming 2 America would premiere Dec. 18 on Amazon Prime Video, and it would represent an impressive 1-2 punch for the streaming giant on the heels of its high-profile Borat 2 acquisition.
With the exception of Top Gun: Maverick, which Paramount pushed to next summer, the studio has been in “sell” mode all year, sending The Lovebirds and The Trial of the Chicago 7 to Netflix, and Michael B. Jordan‘s upcoming action thriller Without Remorse to Amazon. The latter streamer has made it a priority to release more commercial fare in an effort to shore up its substantial subscriber base. Amazon continues to acquire acclaimed indie fare as well, having recently struck a deal for Regina King‘s directorial debut One Night in Miami.
Variety notes that the Coming 2 America deal is complicated by the film’s marketing tie-ins with major brands such as McDonalds and Crown Royal, though those are expected to transfer over to Amazon once Murphy gives the deal his blessing. The trade also reports that Paramount shopped the sequel to multiple other streamers, including Viacom’s own service CBS All Access. You have to imagine that Netflix took a look as well following its proud association with Murphy on last year’s awards hopeful Dolemite Is My Name.
Directed by Craig Brewer, Coming 2 America finds Murphy’s Prince Akeem poised to become king of the fictional African country of Zamunda when he discovers he has a son (Jermaine Fowler) living in Queens, New York. To honor his father’s dying wish to groom his grandson as the crown prince, Akeem and Semmi (Arsenio Hall) set off on a journey to America. The supporting cast includes Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, Wesley Snipes, KiKi Layne, Rick Ross, Teyana Taylor and the great James Earl Jones. The original 1988 movie grossed nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office, so there was intense interest in the sequel.
For more on Borat 2, including the film’s first trailer and when you’ll be able to watch it on Amazon Prime Video, click here.