A couple of major blockbusters have been pushed back yet again. Though, hopefully, for the last time. Universal Pictures has delayed the release of Fast & Furious 9, aka Fast & Furious 9, by one month. The movie is still set to arrive this summer. Universal has also opted to delay the release of Minions 2, officially titled Minions: The Rise of Gru. The animated sequel has been pushed out of this year entirely and will now release in summer 2022.
F9 was originally supposed to hit theaters in May 2020. However, as theaters began to shut down around the world over health and safety concerns, it was one of the first big releases to push its release date. As has been the case with many movies, its date has been changed several times. Most recently, the Justin Lin-directed entry in the series had been set for May 28. Universal now has the movie date for June 25. With any luck, movie theaters will be seeing an increase in business by that time, with vaccine distribution ramping up in the U.S. That's the hope anyway.
As for Minions: The Rise of Gru, its latest delay is far more significant. The latest installment in the hugely successful Despicable Me franchise had been set to arrive on July 2, 2021. It is now arriving a full year later on July 1, 2022. But considering the first Minions made more than $1 billion at the global box office, it makes sense for Universal to wait until the time is right. There is no way they could make that kind of money with a streaming or premium VOD release. From a financial standpoint, this seems to be the right call.
F9 brings back much of the core cast. Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren make up the core ensemble. John Cena is on board to play the brother of Diesel's Dom Torreto. As the trailer revealed, Cena's character will be the villain. Additionally, this movie will see the return of Han, played once again by Sung Kang. The fan-favorite character had seemingly been killed during the events of Tokyo Drift. The plan is for the already planned Fast & Furious 10 to end the main franchise. It will be released as a two-parter.
To date, the Fast & Furious movies have earned more than $5 billion at the global box office. That means these represent two of the biggest franchises in Universal's wheelhouse. While some movies over the last year have opted to do a streaming release, or a hybrid release, it is nearly impossible for a movie that costs well over $100 million to produce to make its money back without a functioning, global theatrical marketplace. Warner Bros. tested the waters with Tenet last year but the results were, at best, middling. With that, Universal is content to wait. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news was previously reported by Variety.