Lionsgate has delayed the release of Chris Rock‘s new Saw movie Spiral, as well as the Janelle Monáe thriller Antebellum and the Sarah Paulson movie Run, Collider has learned.
Antebellum was set for release on April 24, while Run was set for May 8, and Spiral: From the Book of Saw was set for May 15. The studio will announce new dates and release strategies once there is more clarity on when movie theaters will fully — and safely — resume operations.
The delay of Spiral may prove to be fortuitous for Lionsgate, which could decide to release the horror movie in the fall, when genre business is brisk. I understand why the studio initially wanted to avoid October, when Halloween Kills is expected to make a killing, but there may be a pent-up demand for the theatrical experience by the time that film rolls around. I expect the marketplace would be able to support the release of two franchise films.
Personally, I was looking forward to all three of these movies, and I will continue to look forward to seeing them once this challenging moment is behind us. Run hails from the team behind Searching, while Antebellum offers a provocative premise and, from what I’ve heard, a strong central performance from Monae. As for Spiral, I’ve seen every Saw movie on opening night, so my credentials have already been established with regard to that franchise.
Lionsgate’s decision follows that of many other major studios, including Disney, which finally took Marvel’s Black Widow off the release calendar. The studio had already delayed Mulan indefinitely, though it also made Frozen 2 available three months early to Disney+ subscribers. Meanwhile, across town, Universal decided to delay its tentpole F9 a full year, though the studio is making new releases such as The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma available on VOD this weekend in an effort to entertain the quarantined masses.