Historically, the addition of space travel into the mix has never failed to revitalize a flagging franchise. Take Clive Barker’s series of Hellraiser films, for instance: four films in, and the engine was losing steam. So for Bloodline, the film split into a triptych across centuries, the frame story for it all taking place on a spacecraft orbiting Earth. Demonic tormentor Pinhead killing people on Earth — not very scary, but Pinhead killing people in space — I’ll take two tickets, please. So, in this respect, Ice Age: Collision Course is without a doubt the Hellraiser: Bloodline of the Ice Age franchise.

In the latest adventure with Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), spastic sloth Sid (John Leguizamo), saber-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary), and the rest of the prehistoric gang, they’re beset with flaming purple meteors resulting from a planetary collision that acorn-obsessed rat Scrat witnesses after inadvertently taking off from Earth in a flying saucer. (Research has shown that large sharklike fish-beasts were not uncommon in the prehistoric era, and could therefore be jumped by a squirrel-rat in a spaceship.) While fighting for their lives and evading the end of days, the fast friends travel to some sort of crystal cave to consult with a llama guru voiced by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, somehow.

While neither of the past two films (Continental Drift in 2012 and Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 2009) topped $200 million in the U.S., they both hauled in huge overseas grosses to put them upwards of $875 million overall, according to Deadline. So as long as the money stays green, of course they’d move forward with another installment. The arrival of these lethal meteors would seem to signal an end to the franchise, though it would be uncharacteristically dark for this film to end with all our cuddly pals getting incinerated in a global cataclysm. Though that would be, if nothing else, memorable.

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