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Fellow Downton Abbey fans, I come bearing somewhat sad news. Just when you thought that Downton Abbey 2 was going to remain a Christmas delight at the end of 2021, it seems that plans have changed. Now the sequel has been delayed for a few months, which isn’t quite the end of the world, but still may dampen some spirits. Though to be totally honest, there’s a good reason for the delay.
Looking over the report from Variety, Focus Features’ decision to move Downton Abbey 2 into a March 18, 2022 release slot is very smart. In the previous date of December 22, 2021, the competition looked to be fierce, even for a franchise that took on John Rambo and won. As Sing 2, The Matrix 4 and The King’s Man are all looking to make their fortunes on that weekend as well, shifting the Crawley family’s latest exploits to a future point in time does give them more of a fighting chance.
The only huge film Downton Abbey 2 will now have to compete with is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and that MCU offering opens just the weekend after. By that point, the sequel to Julian Fellowes’ ITV/PBS originated drama may have already made an impressive opening and begun its weeks of solid returns. At least, that’s what Focus Features and its parent studio Universal are probably hoping for, as that’s the fate that Downton Abbey: The Movie encountered back in 2019.
With a crowded release calendar that’s filled with both rescheduled 2020 releases and 2021 films that have held the line, it’s not at all shocking that a movie like Downton Abbey 2 would want to find another release date. What’s surprising is that by the time it was announced that the sequel was happening, the field was already known to be competitive for this Christmas. Still, even with questions hanging in the air and a delay in the cards, it could be a lot worse.
Anytime a Downton Abbey movie is announced, it’s a treat because it’s actually happening. With the time it took to get the first film made, knowing that Downton Abbey 2 is in production as we speak is still an absolute plus. An additional three month wait may feel horrible in the short term, but in the long run, there’s still something to look forward to on the horizon.
If you’re looking to get reacquainted with Downton Abbey, you have numerous options. Should you be looking for a deep dive, you can stream the six season run through Peacock, Prime Video or Netflix. Meanwhile, if you just want to revisit Downton Abbey: The Movie, that title is available for streaming through HBO Max. Non-subscribers are encouraged to check out the current offer available to newcomers so they are ready to enjoy Downton Abbey 2 when it opens on March 18, 2022.