Universal Pictures has shifted “Fast and Furious 9” back six weeks from April 10 to May 22, 2020 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend.
It’s the second backwards shift for the title. In 2017, Universal moved the film back a year from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020. Both dates fall on Easter weekend.
The move, announced Friday, leaves April 10, 2020, without a title for now — although MGM also announced a few minutes later that it would open Bond 25 on April 8, 2002. In its new slot, “Fast and Furious 9” will face Warner Bros./Legendary’s “Godzilla vs. Kong” and Paramount’s “The Spongebob Movie.”
The eighth movie in the franchise, “The Fate of the Furious,” stunned Hollywood in 2017, grossing $1.2 billion worldwide. It was directed by F. Gary Gray and starred Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron.
The eight films in the franchise, launched in 2001, have collectively grossed more than $5 billion worldwide. “Furious 7,” which featured the late Paul Walker’s final appearance, is the top performer, having hauled $1.5 billion globally.
The first spinoff title, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” hits theaters on Aug. 2. The film pairs Johnson’s former U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs and Statham’s ex-MI6 agent Deckard Shaw, joining forces to take on Idris Elba’s international terrorist Brixton. The first trailer was released on Feb. 1.