The annual Purge has been delayed indefinitely. Universal Pictures has pulled The Purge 5 (officially titled The Forever Purge), from its release calendar. The horror sequel has previously been set to arrive in theaters on July 10. With theaters around the U.S. and in many countries around the world remaining closed, the studio no longer saw that as a realistic target date.

Universal has not yet provided The Purge 5 with a new release date, which means it has been delayed indefinitely. This is a blow for horror fans who were looking forward to another edition of government-sanctioned carnage, but not a surprising move by the studio. Not only is there uncertainty surrounding the status of movie theaters at that time, but no marketing materials have been released for the movie at this time. No poster. No trailer. Nothing. It would be difficult to mount a big enough marketing campaign this late in the game. With that in mind, the delay makes sense. The big question is, how long will the delay be? For now, that is a difficult question to answer.

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Several major releases, such as Christopher Nolan's Tenet and Disney's Mulan, remain on the calendar for July. AMC, Regal, Cinemark and other theater chains expect to reopen, albeit with major restrictions, in mid-to-late July. But it isn't clear at this time how willing the public will be to head to movie theaters once they reopen. With that, releasing a major movie in the early days of theaters opening their doors again could be viewed as a serious gamble. That is why most studios have pushed releases to much later in 2020, if not well into 2021. Though that has led to release date crowding, which could make it difficult for The Purge 5 to find a desirable space on the calendar.

Plot details for The Forever Purge are largely being kept under wraps currently. However, it is said that this movie will move the action outside of major metropolitan areas. The movies, generally speaking, center on a 12-hour period once a year where all crime, including murder, is legal in the United States. Everardo Gout (Luke Cage) is in the director's chair, working from a screenplay by franchise creator James DeMonaco. The cast includes Leven Rambin (True Detective), Ana de la Reguera (Goliath), Will Patton (Halloween), Cassidy Freeman (Longmire) and Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico).

This comes as another blow for the franchise as The Purge TV series was recently given the ax after two seasons. To date, the franchise has grossed $458 million at the global box office since its debut in 2013. While not historically loved by critics, the movies have been produced on relatively low budgets, which have made them highly profitable endeavors for Blumhouse Productions and Universal. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by Variety.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott