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Sony's slate also dates the animated Spider-Man movie and brave new Ghostbusters TV series for 2018.

VEGAS 2016: Sony Pictures’ EmojiMovie to hit cinemas in August 2017

Sony Pictures Animation has detailed its slate through to 2018.

Smurfs: The Lost Village is set to hit cinemas on April 7th, 2017, followed by EmojiMovie: Express Yourself in August 2017, which set to ‘offer a surprising and comic take on the secret world of our phones’.

Elsewhere, Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star, a Christmas movie following a brave donkey and his animal friends, lands on December 8th, 2017, Hotel Transylvania 3 will debut in cinemas on September 21st, 2018 while an animated Spider-Man film, from the directors of The LEGO Movie, will arrive on December 21st, 2018.

On the small screen, the animated Ghostbusters: Ecto Force series, set in 2050, will air from early 2018, while both the Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs TV series are set to debut in 2017.

“We are meaningfully stepping up our level of production, while creating an environment that fosters the best talent," said Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation.

"Our goal is to enlarge our presence in the animation landscape with a uniquely diverse slate, and our strategy to get there is to let artists drive the movies creatively.”

Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, added: “I could not be more proud of the way Kristine Belson has rebuilt Sony Pictures Animation into the boldest home for animation in the industry.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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