In a sign of optimism, Sony Pictures plans to release “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” on the big screen earlier than anticipated.
The animated sequel, which was originally scheduled for June, will now arrive in movie theaters on May 14.
Though the U.S. box office has been slow to return amid the pandemic, films geared toward family audiences have been among the most commercially successful. “Tom and Jerry,” an animated kids movie from Warner Bros., debuted to $14 million last weekend, ranking as the second-best opening of the coronavirus era. Universal’s “The Croods: A New Age” has also been a popular draw, generating $52 million to date. Disney is unveiling “Raya and the Last Dragon,” a cartooned fantasy adventure, in theaters and on Disney Plus for a premium price on March 5.
Sony was also encouraged by news that cinemas in New York City, one of biggest movie markets in the country, can reopen starting this weekend. And the Biden administration recently announced the United States is on track to have enough COVID-19 vaccines for “every adult American” by the end of May, which could help fast-track the revival of movie theaters.
Directed by Will Gluck, “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” sees the return of the furry rogue bunny. In the sequel, Peter finds himself unable to shake his mischievous reputation. He ventures out of the garden and finds himself in a world where his antics are appreciated, but he has to reconsider the cost when his family risks everything to come looking for him. The voice cast includes James Corden as Peter Rabbit, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and David Oyelowo.