Fast & Furious 7 Gets An Earlier Release Date

April has historically been a good month for the franchise. While most of the movies have come out in June, the two films in the series that came out in the fourth month of the year currently stand as two of the top three best box office performers. That in mind, it's no surprise that Universal Pictures is planning to go back to that well with the release of James Wan's Fast & Furious 7, but now they're going even earlier than originally anticipated.

Following the production delay after Paul Walker's death last November, Universal announced that they would be moving Fast & Furious 7 from July 11, 2014 to April 10, 2015, but now news has come down from The Hollywood Reporter that they are shifting the movie up. Instead of being released on April 10, 2015, it will now instead come out on April 3, 2015 - one week earlier.

Okay, this isn't the most earth-shattering news that we've heard this week, or maybe even in the last couple hours, but it does make sense on some levels. While it's somewhat strange that the blockbuster is moving from a week with no direct competition to one with another wide release already set up (the big screen adaptation of Nicholas Spark's The Longest Ride), it makes sense when you think about what's going to be coming out in early May 2015. Not really sharing a demographic, Fast & Furious 7 should really have no trouble with its romantic drama competition, and it now has nearly a full month of buffer between it and the release of Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron - which very well could end up being one of the biggest films of all time. Still set to come out in late April is the nature documentary Monkey Kingdom from Disney, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 from Sony, and the sci-fi thriller Selfless from Focus Features, but with the right amount of buzz - not to mention the Paul Walker post-mortem effect - the next Fast & Furious could wind up driving all over those.

It's also worth mentioning that the first week of April is quickly becoming a new hot release date on the movie calendar. In 2009 Fast & Furious brought in $70 million its opening weekend, but more recently Captain America: The Winter Soldier - which came out earlier this year - managed to bank $95 million. The Marvel Studios film now stands as the biggest April blockbuster of all time, so the question is: will Fast & Furious 7 be able to dethrone it?

Directed by James Wan - his first in the franchise - and scripted by Chris Morgan, Fast & Furious 7 finds Dom and his crew finally back in Los Angeles, but dealing with the vengeful Ian Shaw, who wants revenge for the death of his brother, Owen, in Fast & Furious 6. The ever-growing ensemble will include Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Lucas Black, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey and Djimon Hounsou.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.