2ND UPDATE, 12:12 PM: The bunny trail is busy again. Sony said today that its Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is moving up two weeks from Fourth of July weekend to June 18. The move comes just hours after after Paramount announced that its Top Gun: Maverick exited its July 2 slot and Blumhouse’s The Forever Purge is taking that date.
UPDATED, March 19: The bunny trail to theaters just got a little longer for Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. Sony Pictures today pushed its family sequel’s release back to July 2, just two weeks after it had pushed the date up from June 11 to May 14.
More from Deadline
It’s a case of good news/bad news for exhibition in that it puts a popular family franchise film into the normally busy Independence Day holiday frame — the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday this year — but takes an event film away from the May calendar just as more theaters are reopening after long Covid shutdowns.
As of now, Peter Rabbit 2 will go up against only one other wide release that weekend, Paramount’s long-gestating sequel Top Gun: Maverick. The sequel’s cast includes Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki, Margot Robbie and James Corden as Peter Rabbit.
PREVIOUSLY, March 3: In a positive sign for exhibition, and NYC reopening this Friday, Sony is moving up their release of Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway from June 11 to May 14.
Not only is Sony getting a jump on summer, but it’s clear there is an appetite for family movies as the pandemic calms; i.e. last weekend Warner Bros. theatrical release of Tom & Jerry overperformed with a $14.1M opening weekend — and that’s with a same-day release on HBO Max.
The hope is that by Easter weekend, the Los Angeles county theaters will be open, however, that’s on pure industry speculation.
The first Peter Rabbit debuted in 2018 and ultimately grossed $351M WW. Filmmaker Will Gluck returned to direct the sequel.
Currently, Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow is still dated for May 7, as summer’s theatrical opener. TBD whether that sticks or not as it relies on a number of foreign markets also being open. Peter Rabbit 2 would face off against Warner Bros./HBO Max adult western Those Who Wish Me Dead on its opening date as well as Roadside Attractions’ Finding You. May 21’s wide entries are Lionsgate’s Spiral and 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy. Memorial Day weekend, May 28, lineup includes Disney’s Cruella, Universal’s F9, and Paramount’s Infinite.
Best of Deadline