Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

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Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
Peter Rabbit 2 - RT poster.png
Theatrical release poster with its previous release date
Directed byWill Gluck
Written by
  • Will Gluck
  • Patrick Burleigh
Based onThe Tale of Peter Rabbit
by Beatrix Potter
Produced by
  • Will Gluck
  • Zareh Nalbandian
  • Catherine Bishop
  • Jodi Hildebrand
CinematographyPeter Menzies Jr.
Edited byMatt Villa
Music byDominic Lewis
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release dates
  • March 25, 2021 (2021-03-25) (Australia)
  • May 17, 2021 (2021-05-17) (United Kingdom)
  • June 11, 2021 (2021-06-11) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[2]
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$45 million[3][4]
Box office$153.9 million[4][5]

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (also known simply as Peter Rabbit 2) is a 2021 3D live-action/computer-animated adventure comedy film directed and produced by Will Gluck, who co-wrote the screenplay with Patrick Burleigh. The film is a sequel to 2018's Peter Rabbit produced by Sony Pictures Animation, and is based on the stories of Peter Rabbit created by Beatrix Potter. James Corden reprises his role as the title character, alongside Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, and David Oyelowo in live-action roles, and the voices of Elizabeth Debicki, Lennie James, and Margot Robbie.

After facing numerous delays from its original February 2020 release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was released theatrically by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label, first in Australia on March 25, 2021, then in the United Kingdom on May 17 and in the United States on June 11. The film has grossed over $153 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics.


The film opens with the wedding of Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) and Bea (Rose Byrne), with all their friends, human and animal, in attendance. Peter Rabbit (James Corden) tells Benjamin Bunny (Colin Moody) that he is totally fine with Thomas marrying Bea, until the priest mentions Thomas becoming like a father to the animals. Peter appears to go berserk and attacks Thomas, leading the other animals to attack the humans until Peter makes Thomas float away on balloons. This is, of course, in Peter’s head, and he still accepts this new part of his life.

After their honeymoon, Thomas helps Bea as she works on her children’s storybooks based on Peter and his friends. Peter is a bit dismayed to know that the books have portrayed him as “naughty”. Outside, he talks to Johnny Town-Mouse who talks about his life as a married mouse with kids, and Peter doesn’t want to think about Thomas and Bea starting their own family without him. Bea then gets a letter in the mail from a publisher who wants to distribute her books.

Thomas and Bea take Peter, Benjamin, Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), and Cottontail (Aimee Horne) to meet the publisher, Nigel Basil-Jones (David Oyelowo). The other rabbits, barring a suspicious Cottontail, seem to like Nigel, until he presents his marketing plan toward the rabbits, which paints Peter as a troublemaker. They even see a billboard for a potential Peter Rabbit movie, which makes him look outright villainous. Flopsy and Mopsy, meanwhile, don’t like that people can’t seem to tell them apart or always associate one with the other.

A dismayed Peter walks away from the group and goes into town, where he meets an older rabbit named Barnabas (Lennie James). After getting into some more mischief, Barnabas recognizes Peter as the son of his old friend when they would swipe food from the McGregor farm. He is impressed with Peter’s movements and skills, but they are unfortunately caught by animal catchers and taken to a pet pound.

Bea starts to sign over the rights to her books to Nigel, although despite her request that the books not be turned into a gaudy hip cash grab property (with Benjamin looking right at the camera for this), it becomes apparent that this is Nigel’s plan anyway, as he is known for turning simple concepts into something “cool” for a more commercial audience.

Peter and Barnabas are taken in by a little girl named Amelia. After an afternoon spent being washed and roughly played with, the family steps out of the house, leaving Peter and Barnabas in a cage. Barnabas manages to free himself and Peter, so they go to raid the family’s fridge with the helps of Barnabas’s crew – the mouse Samuel Whiskers (Rupert Degas), creepy cat Tom Kitten (Damon Herriman), and his sister Mittens (Hayley Atwell). As they try to sneak the food out, Amelia’s mother comes home with the intention of getting rid of the rabbits before her kids come home. The animals manage to run from her as she chases them into town, and they get away with their food into their hideout.

Barnabas later takes Peter through the town as he talks about how his father used to steal for Peter and his sisters to keep their bellies full. Thomas and Bea then find Peter and bring him home while Barnabas returns to his hideout.

The next morning, Thomas and Bea take the rabbits outside to play by a field. Thomas tries rolling down the hill like the rabbits, only to roll too fast and hurt himself. Peter tells Benjamin about Barnabas and convinces him and his sisters to join him in meeting the crew. Barnabas recognizes Peter’s sisters and divulges to all of them his big plan – he and his crew want to rob from the farmers market, with their big score being packs of dried fruit.

Thomas and Bea meet with Nigel again to go over designs for the rabbits. After already having them dressed up in contemporary clothes (one that says “hype beast”), Nigel makes another suggestion that they be on a beach, despite Thomas disagreeing with the idea. He starts to realize that Nigel’s idea are not in the best interests of Bea’s work. He even later goes to confront Nigel himself in a boxing gym to express how he feels, with Nigel interpreting it as him speaking for Bea. She finds out and is unhappy with Thomas.

The rabbits gather help from their animal friends – Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (Sia), Jeremy Fisher (also Domhnall Gleeson), Pigling Bland (Ewen Leslie), Felix D’eer (Christian Gazal), and Tommy Brock (Sam Neill) – to pull off their heist. The animals create distractions, even getting the a girl named Sara (Chika Yasumara) – whose family creates the dried fruit – distracted when the boy she has a crush on (whose family sells cheese wheels) is knocked over. The rabbits prepare the bins of dried fruit, but in the chaos, a cheese wheel rolls by and knocks over Thomas and his tomatoes that he was going to sell. After getting the dried fruits into their getaway truck, all the animals, including Benjamin and the sisters, are captured by the pet pound people. To Peter’s dismay, Barnabas reveals he was all along using him and his friends to keep the dried fruit for themselves. He even explains that he intentionally “bumped into” Peter in town after reading about him in his book, having spent a lot of time feeling angry that nobody wanted him because he was too old. Everyone is left to blame Peter for getting them into this mess, while he himself feels utterly terrible.

Peter leaves Barnabas and his gang and goes to find Thomas, enlisting his help in recovering his friends. After hitting a snag with their truck, they go to Bea for help while she is in a meeting with Nigel and others from the publishing company. They want to put Peter and his friends in a ludicrous space adventure, which pushes Bea to realize that this is nothing like what she had in mind, and she pulls her stories from Nigel’s company. After talking it out with Thomas, she agrees to help him and Peter recover all their friends. They go on over-the-top missions to find them, like swiping Benjamin off a boat, Jeremy Fisher from a school classroom, and skydiving to get the sisters.

Peter, Benjamin, and the sisters then make one last stop at Barnabas’s hideout. They take the dried fruit away from them, only for the crew to appear and capture Peter’s family. They then turn the tables on them by having prepared for this, with the rabbits stringing up Barnabas and his crew by nooses so that they get pulled away into the great beyond when the nearby tailor shop owner leaves in his truck. The rabbits then return all the dried fruit to Sara and her family.

The rabbits rejoin Thomas and Bea as they drive home, with Peter deciding to be more willing to listen to the ones that love him.


Live-action actors[edit]

Voice actors[edit]


In May 2018, it was announced that Sony Pictures had started the development of the sequel to Peter Rabbit.[6] In February 2019, it was announced David Oyelowo had joined the cast of the film, with Rose Byrne and Domnhall Gleeson reprising their roles from the first.[7] Elizabeth Debicki and Margot Robbie were confirmed to reprise their respective roles in October 2019.[8]

Unlike the first film, the sequel was released under the Columbia Pictures label, instead of Sony Pictures Animation.


Principal photography began in January 2019 in Centennial Parklands, Australia.[9][10] Filming took place in the Lake District at Ambleside and Haverthwaite, around Hill Street and Richmond Bridge in London, Gloucester Docks, a replica of the House of the Tailor of Gloucester, and in Camden, New South Wales.[11]


Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway was theatrically released in Australia on March 25, 2021,[12] in the United Kingdom on May 17, and in the United States on June 11.

It was initially set to be released in the United States on February 7, 2020,[6] before being moved back to April 3, 2020, earlier in Australia on March 19, and in the United Kingdom on March 27.[13] The film was delayed again to August 7, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[14] It was then further delayed to January 15, 2021, in the United States,[15] then to April 2,[16] and again to June 11.[17] The date was then moved up to May 14 before moving back again to July 2,[18] then moving up once more to June 18,[19] and then once again back to June 11, following the film's box office success outside of the United States.[20]

Home media[edit]

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway was released as a purchase on VOD on July 27, 2021, and was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray on August 24, 2021 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. On December 9, 2021, it was released for streaming on Netflix.


Box office[edit]

As of August 8, 2021, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway has grossed $40.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $113.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $153.8 million.[4][5]

In the United States and Canada, Peter Rabbit 2 was released alongside In the Heights and The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 and was projected to gross $16–20 million from 3,346 theaters in its opening weekend, with Sony predicting a more modest $8–10 million debut.[21] The film made $4 million on its first day, including $900,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $10.1 million, finishing fourth behind A Quiet Place Part II, In the Heights, and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.[22] The film fell 39.8% in its second weekend, grossing $6.1 million and finishing in third.[23] In its third weekend, the film fell 21.5% and grossed $4.8 million, finishing in fourth.[24]

In Australia, the film debuted to $2.1 million.[25] By its third weekend in the country (where it made $2.5 million), the film had a running total of $9.2 million.[26] In the UK, the film topped the charts in the first three days of cinemas reopening, making $6.4 million.[27][3]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 67% based on 76 reviews with an average rating of 6/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "An enjoyably silly and self-aware sequel, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway should leave fans of the original feeling fairly hoppy."[28] On Metacritic it has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100 based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported 74% of audience members gave it a positive score, with 45% saying they would definitely recommend it.[22]

Courtney Howard of Variety called it a "superior sequel" and said the film "serves as both a meta-commentary on his humbling past antics and a pivotal point for the eponymous protagonist."[30] Brian Penn of UK Film Review called it a "great popcorn movie" and said the "voicing actors are undoubtedly the stars even though the humans on screen are perfectly fine."[31]

Ian Freer of Empire rated the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing "It feels a little thin and generic compared to family fare like The Mitchells Vs The Machines, but the Byrne-Gleeson combo is winning and Gluck injects just enough slapstick and smarts to justify the last-gasp gag about a sequel. It's no Paddington 2, but Peter Rabbit 2 works well thanks to a mocking sense of self and a strong second half." However, he noted that "It [Peter Rabbit 2] may not be for the Beatrix Potter purists and has a scattershot quality", but that it "remains enjoyable for its brisk 93 minutes."[32] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, remarking that "Unlike Paddington, whose literary source material is genuinely funny, this digital Peter Rabbit is never really humorous. It can sometimes be cute or zany and briefly send itself up, but there is fundamentally something pretty straight in its DNA. And so the film rattles inoffensively on, every line and every image seeming as if it has been test marketed in ways advocated by the wicked Nigel Basil-Jones."[33] Christy Lemire of also gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, who said "By indulging in the exact same instincts it insists are problematic artistically, “Peter Rabbit 2” wants to have its carrot and eat it, too. But maybe that won't bother you. Maybe you'll be grateful for a return to the theater and the opportunity to do so with your kids. In that regard, the sequel hops along in sufficiently bouncy fashion."[34]


Award Ceremony
Category Subject Result Ref
AACTA Awards December 8, 2021 Best Adapted Screenplay Patrick Burleigh Nominated [35]
Will Gluck Nominated
Best Actress Rose Byrne Nominated
Best Editing Matt Villa Nominated
Best Sound Robert Mackenzie Nominated
Kevin O'Connell Nominated
Ben Osmo Nominated
Andy Wright Nominated
Best Production Design Roger Ford Nominated
Best Visual Effects or Animation Jason Bath Won
Matt Middleton Won
Simon Pickard Won
Will Reichelt Won
Simon Whiteley Won


In May 2021, Will Gluck said he has nearly finished the script for a third movie.[36]


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  2. ^ Hyde, Robert (July 19, 2020). "Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is given a U age rating by the BBFC". 25th Frame. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Mendelson, Scott (May 24, 2021). "Box Office: 'Peter Rabbit 2' Nabs Promising $6.4 Million Debut In The United Kingdom". Forbes. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
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  14. ^ "'Peter Rabbit 2' Pushed to August Over Coronavirus Fears (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. March 10, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  15. ^ Galuppo, Mia (March 30, 2020). "Sony Delays Release of 'Morbius,' 'Ghostbusters,' More Films Due to Coronavirus". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 31, 2020. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  16. ^ Fahadullah Hussaini, Syed (November 19, 2020). "Monster Hunter Release Date Moves Forward, Now Releasing On Christmas Day". Screen Rant. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 22, 2021). "Sony's 'Cinderella' Dances To Summer, 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' To Fall, 'Uncharted' Eyes 2022 & More". Deadline Hollywood.
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 19, 2021). "'Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway' Moves Back To Fourth Of July Weekend – Updated". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
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  35. ^ "Winners & Nominees".
  36. ^ Peter Rabbit 2 director Will Gluck on the return of the family favourite. Retrieved May 16, 2021.

External links[edit]