For almost a year now, studios have been asking the same question when it comes to release dates: stay the course, or push? With many theaters around the country still closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have to weigh whether or not any particular project is worth delaying because of potential ticket sales. Recently, Universal Pictures has had to do that calculus for the upcoming Jennifer Lopez comedy Marry Me, and the end result of that math has seen the picture delayed nearly a full year.
While Marry Me has been on the books for May 14 for a while now, Deadline is reporting that the studio has made the decision to push it back to 2022. Instead of being a spring release, it will now come out in winter and get the Valentine's Day crowd by coming out on February 11, 2022.
Directed by Kat Coiro (the filmmaker at the helm of Marvel Studios' developing She-Hulk series), Marry Me centers on a pop star named Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez), who is getting ready at the start of the movie to marry her fiancé, Bastian (Maluma). Unfortunately, she discovers right before the ceremony that her fiance has been unfaithful, which drives her to pick a stranger out of the audience (Owen Wilson) and marry him instead.
It certainly makes a whole lot of sense that Marry Me would target Valentine's Day weekend (the holiday is on a Monday, which is a nice bonus), but what can't be ignored is that Universal has put the romantic comedy up against some serious competition. February 11, 2022 is a date that is already occupied by another title previously on the 2021 calendar: the video game adaptation Uncharted starring Tom Holland. Independently both movies could make a lot of money from the box office (particularly if they are good), but it does seem like there is a real risk of them eating each others' profits.
Overall it seems like a good move for Marry Me (especially because the studio seems confident in its performance), but one other issue that the project may have to deal with is the fact that there is another Jennifer Lopez wedding comedy that is actively in the works. The Jason Moore-directed Shotgun Wedding is low in the late stages of pre-production, having recently recast Armie Hammer with Josh Duhamel, and at this point it's not outside the realm of possibility that both films could come out in 2022. Will that ultimately be a good thing or a bad thing? We'll have to wait and find out.