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Eddie Murphy made quite the resurgence last year starring in Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name and hosting 2019’s final episode of Saturday Night Live, the latter of which netted him a Primetime Emmy Award. Fans of the comedy star can next expect to see him in Coming to America 2, which was originally supposed to drop in theaters in December, but now word’s come in that the sequel to Murphy’s 1988 classic is instead heading to streaming.
It had been reported in August that conversations were underway behind the scenes at Paramount Pictures about possibly moving Coming to America 2 to a streaming service, and now Deadline reports that the movie studio has closed a deal for Amazon to acquire the movie in a deal worth around $125 million. As such, rather than playing on the big screen, Coming to America 2 would instead be an exclusive offering on Amazon’s Prime Video platform. How appropriate that this is going down on Prime Day.
Variety added in its own report that final details are still being hammered out, including two “complex” consumer marketing tie-ins with McDonald’s and Crown Royal. It was also noted that Eddie Murphy, who is also a producer on Coming to America 2, has to give his blessing on this deal.
It’s interesting that Coming to America 2 is heading to Amazon rather than Netflix, as in addition to housing Dolemite Is My Name, the latter streaming service is also where Eddie Murphy’s new standup special and Beverly Hills Cop 4 will eventually be available. However, in this instance, perhaps that $125 million price tag was too rich for Netflix’s proverbial blood. Dropping Coming to America 2 on CBS All-Access was also explored, but in the end, Amazon came out on top.
Amazon’s acquisition of Coming to America 2 comes just a few weeks after it was announced that the streaming service will also be the home of Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm. And Coming to America 2 certainly isn’t the only movie that Paramount has sold off to streaming services over the last several years, with other recent examples including Amazon obtaining Michael B. Jordan’s Without Remorse and Netflix getting its hands on both The Lovebirds and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Set approximately three decades after the original Coming to America, Coming to America 2 sees Eddie Murphy’s Prince Akeem Joffer preparing to be crowned the new King of Zamunda, but he suddenly discovers that he has a son he never knew about living in the United States. This prompts Akeem to travel back to the U.S. with Arsenio Hall’s Semmi to find this heir. Along with familiar faces like Shari Headley, John Amos, James Earl Jones and Louie Anderson coming back for the sequel, the Coming to America 2 cast also includes Wesley Snipes, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan, among others.
As things stand now, even with this Amazon deal falling into place, apparently the plan is for Coming to America 2 to still be released to the masses on December 18. Find out what movies are still supposed to play in theaters in the near future with our 2021 release schedule.