In case you haven’t noticed, Hollywood is punting on summer movie season, with Universal Pictures the latest studio to waive the white flag. Two days after Sony delayed Morbius and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Universal has delayed its summer tentpole Minions: The Rise of Gru.
We already knew that the Minions sequel wouldn’t make its release date because Illumination Entertainment was forced to close its studio in France, so the animated film wouldn’t be completed in time for its July 3 release date. The Rise of Gru has now been delayed a full year, and will now take over Sing 2‘s summer 2021 release date of July 2, 2021. That means that Sing 2, which also hails from Illumination, will arrive on Dec. 22, 2021. The first film also opened in December and wound up grossing $634 million worldwide.
Meanwhile, with Hollywood production shut down indefinitely, Universal has also taken the opportunity to remove the Wicked movie from its release schedule. The musical adaptation of the hit Broadway show had been set for December 22, 2021, but it is now undated. That may be for the best, as it would be wise to wait and see how upcoming musicals such as West Side Story and In the Heights perform in the wake of Universal’s Cats debacle. Universal is also focused on its feature adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen, and musicals aren’t like superhero movies. You can’t just release one every other weekend and expect them to do well. They have to be spaced out, and now, with Wicked delayed indefinitely, they will be.
While Disney, Warner Bros. and Paramount have yet to make formal announcements, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that every major studio will delay its summer tentpoles. You can safely assume that Warner Bros. will delay Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet — and possibly assign it Dune‘s December release date since the studio hasn’t started the marketing campaign for Denis Villeneuve‘s new film. You can also bet that Top Gun: Maverick won’t fly into theaters this summer, and that Disney will end up shifting Jungle Cruise and Pixar’s Soul. Again, nothing is official regarding any of those titles, but Hollywood is a town of copycats, so if two studios cancel July releases, rest assured that the others will follow.