Universal Pictures has made some drastic moves to its 2011 release slate, bumping the sequel Fast Five up a few months from its June 10th bow to April 29th. This sudden shift occurred shortly after Paramount Pictures announced that it would release J.J. Abrams' highly secretive alien zombie thriller Super 8 on June 10th as well.
While it is apparent that Universal didn't want to pit its favored franchise against Abrams untested, yet highly anticipated ode to all-things Steven Spielberg, the move was also made in consideration of Fast & Furious' unexpected and hugely successful April release date back in 2009. Landing on April 29th, Fast Five should dominate the weekend, going up only against the Disney tween-oriented comedy Prom and Fox's romantic comedy What's Your Number?, which finds Anna Faris trolling her past sexual conquests for Mr. Right, whom she finds in Chris Evans.
The move leaves Super 8 facing only the Kate Hudson/Ginnifer Goodwin romantic comedy Something Borrowed, which is based on the popular Emily Giffin novel series. Something Borrowed doesn't have too worry too much about going head-to-head with J.J. Abrams' scary Close Encounters of the Third Kind homage, as a sequel for Something Borrowed is already in the works despite whatever it makes at the box office.
The problem Universal finds with smartly placing Fast Five at the end of April is that it bumps their own The Thing, a prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 horror classic, out of a release date. Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s monster-morpher is being left out in the cold with its debut TBA. But don't worry too much. A new release date is expected soon, with Universal eyeing either late August or early September, where movies of this natural usually fare quite well.