Last week, in a shocking and massive move that will have ripple effects throughout the year, Sony pushed the release date of one of the year’s biggest blockbusters, No Time To Die, back seven months, from April 10 to November 25. This move came in response to the Coronavirus situation that has had a significantly detrimental effect on the international box office, where the latest Bond flick was eyeing to make a healthy chunk of its money. Now, following No Time To Die, Sony has pushed back another upcoming movie over Coronavirus concerns.
Sony has decided to push back the release date of Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway over concerns about the Coronavirus. The sequel to 2018’s Peter Rabbit was scheduled to open in the United Kingdom and other European markets on March 27 before its domestic release on April 3. Now Sony Pictures Releasing has delayed Peter Rabbit 2’s European release date by five months to August 7 according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway will now open in Europe on August 7, with the rest of the world to follow. On the domestic front, Peter Rabbit 2 is now expected to open in the U.S. day and date with Europe on August 7.
It was obviously not an easy decision to delay a film that was set to open in mere weeks, but the Coronavirus crisis basically gave Sony little choice in the matter if the company wanted this sequel to be another hit. In 2018, Peter Rabbit, which opened in February, rabbited to $351 million worldwide, but only $115 million of that came domestically, with $236 million coming overseas.
That means that two-thirds of Peter Rabbit’s box office total came from international markets. Peter Rabbit made $56.3 million in the U.K., $26.5 million in China, $20.2 million in Australia, $12.3 million in France and $12.1 million in Germany. Unfortunately, it’s the international markets, more so than the domestic ones, for now at least, that are the ones dealing with the Coronavirus.
China’s cinemas have been closed for weeks and as part of a nationwide quarantine, Italy closed all of its theaters on Monday. Other theaters are shutting in France and Slovakia as well. Given those factors, releasing Peter Rabbit 2 in Europe now would not be a way to maximize the film’s potential in that market.
Now the U.S. isn’t dealing with a Coronavirus quarantine or anything of that nature at the moment, but Sony still had to push Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway domestically because of piracy concerns and the fact that another family film, Trolls World Tour, just moved up a week and will now open over Easter weekend. So Peter Rabbit 2 will miss out on the obvious Easter weekend release date, but will fight on in August.
On August 7, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway will now face off with The Empty Man and Infinite and will importantly be about a month removed from Minions: The Rise of Gru, which is poised to be one of the year’s biggest family films.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway stars Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne alongside an all-star cast of voice actors including Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Damon Herriman, Lennie James and James Corden as the titular rabbit.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway now opens on August 7. We’ll keep you updated about any other release date shifts due to this ongoing crisis. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters this year and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest movie news.