They "think they have a franchise" based on an Emoji Movie. Jesus.
Sounds goofy to me too, but Angry Birds was a smash hit for them (definitely their biggest of the year):
$349.8M The Angry Birds Movie
$239.1M Passengers (2016)
$229.1M Ghostbusters (2016)
$160.4M The Magnificent Seven (2016)
$140.7M Sausage Party
$119.1M The Shallows
$109.9M The 5th Wave
$25.2M The Brothers Grimsby
It clobbered Ghostbusters (and Passengers) with less than half the budget (maybe worse after you account for marketing). The execs may not understand how horribly Ghostbusters was marketed (by openly trashing the fans), so they may well come to the conclusion (because they do understand profit loud and clear) that silly interweb franchises are way more valuable to them than beloved classic franchises (or original stories).