LOS ANGELES (AP) — Universal Pictures is moving back the release of the ninth Fast and Furious film by a year amid the coronavirus outbreak. The studio on Thursday said that “F9” will now open on April 2, 2021. It had been previously scheduled to open on May 22, 2020.
The Fast and Furious movies are always big earners at the domestic and international box office and the absence of “F9” will impact the 2020 box office in a major way. The past two films have made over $1 billion.
It is the first major summer movie to be delayed because of the outbreak. Other major movies that are still slated for release in the critical summer months include Warner Bros.′ “Wonder Woman 1984,” on June 5, Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” on June 24, and Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” on July 24.
Thursday also saw the postponement of “A Quiet Place II.” The delays came after concerns about the virus and public safety prompted studios to postpone the releases of the James Bond film “ No Time to Die ” and “ Peter Rabbit 2. ”
The Walt Disney Co. in particular has so far stayed the course with its releases. “Mulan” is still set to open in theaters on March 27 and Marvel’s “Black Widow” is planned for April 24.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.