Universal on Friday pushed the release of its upcoming “Fast & Furious” sequel film back two months to Memorial Day 2021, from its previous April 2 date.
The move is among a recent slew of studio blockbuster release shifts, and it comes the same day that MGM moved the release of Daniel Craig’s final Bond film “No Time to Die” to April 2 from next month.
MGM’s shift comes after Disney announced release changes for many of its films, most notably “Black Widow,” which was set for release on November 6 but was moved to summer 2021.
This is the second time “F9” has moved its release date. Back in March Universal pushed the debut almost a full year from it scheduled May 22, 2020 release date.
“F9” is the ninth chapter in the “Fast” saga that has earned more than $5 billion around the world. Vin Diesel stars in “F9” with Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron.
The film is produced by Neal H. Moritz, Diesel, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Joe Roth, Justin Lin, Clayton Townsend and Samantha Vincent.
With a vaccine still months away and multiple regions still struggling to contain COVID-19, it has proved nearly impossible for Hollywood studios to coordinate releases for a global blockbuster. Warner Bros. took the big leap with “Tenet” and found respectable overseas numbers, grossing $215 million internationally from 54 countries.
But “Tenet” has also struggled to perform in U.S. theaters, grossing $36 million from 2,930 theaters with New York, Los Angeles, and several other major cities still keeping their movie theaters closed. Despite lobbying from the National Association of Theater Owners, health officials for those major markets have not budged, leaving uncertainty over the short-term availability of theaters that has become a factor in the latest wave of slate moves.