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The big blockbuster movie shake up

With Top Gun: Maverick and Minions: The Rise of Gru the latest blockbusters to get new dates, here’s what we know so far.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic means that the summer schedule at the box office looks very different from how it did at the beginning of 2020.

Back in January, the licensing industry was expecting big merchandise sales and promotional campaigns around the likes of Fast & Furious 9, No Time to Die, Top Gun: Maverick, Black Widow, Peter Rabbit 2 and Mulan to name just a few.

But with cinemas across the globe now closed to help stop the spread of the virus – and no timeframe on when they will re-open – studios have been making the decisions to shift movies to later in the year or, in some cases, into 2021.

Universal Pictures confirmed last month that it will make its movies available in the home on the same day as the global theatrical releases, beginning with DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour. The eagerly anticipated sequel will be available to stream from Friday April 10.

However, Minions: The Rise of Gru now has a July 2021 release date, with the movie having to be postponed after Illumination’s Paris studio closed temporarily due to the outbreak.

Universal Pictures has also moved Sing 2 to December 2021, while F9 – the latest instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise – has switched from May 2020 to April 2021.

Sony Pictures, meanwhile, has delayed almost its entire movie slate to 2021. These include Peter Rabbit 2 – which had already been moved once from March to August 2020 – Marvel Studios’ Morbius, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and the video game adaptation, Uncharted.

Yesterday (April 2) saw Paramount Pictures confirm that Top Gun: Maverick – which had been due to open in July – will be put back to December 2020, with Tom Cruise himself addressing the news in a tweet.

Paramount has also confirmed that The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run would move to July 2020.

Warner Bros. has shifted Wonder Woman 1984 slightly down the schedule, moving it from June 2020 to August 2020.

MGM was the first studio to make the decision on delaying a big name film – No Time to Die, the eagerly awaited final outing for Daniel Craig as James Bond, was originally due to hit cinemas in April to a major fanfare. Its new date in the schedule is November 12, 2020.

Marvel’s Black Widow, which was due to be released in May, has also been pushed back to an unspecified date.

Elsewhere in the Disney stable, the live action Mulan reboot – which was slated for March 27 – has been pushed back, while the studio has also paused production on other live action films including The Little Mermaid.

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