It’s been a day of musical chairs as several major studios shuffled release dates for a number of anticipated films. For audiences, this means a less packed theater schedule for the end of the year (which, to be honest, was a little expected; sliding films out of the immensely competitive December month and into the less cutthroat – though potentially less profitable – January and February is an annual exercise), but will require some patience for a few popular adaptations and sequels.
Two films that were expected this Christmas, the Weinstein Co.’s Paddington and Paramount’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2, have been pushed to the new year and are now set for January 16 and February 20, respectively. Since details were first released for the children’s film Paddington back in March, the beloved teddy bear’s voice has changed from Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) to Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas). HTTM2 will bring back buddies Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express) and Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies) minus original costar John Cusak (The Paperboy). The film, however, promises an impressive comedic cast including new additions Adam Scott (Step Brothers) and Gillian Jacobs (Community).
Moving past the holidays, to make room for the January date for Hot Tub Time Machine 2 TWC has announced it will push the English-language version of the Argentine animated film Underdogs from January 15 to April 10 of next year. Perhaps as a consolation for the delay, they also announced that singer Ariana Grande (Victorious) will join Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), Katie Holmes (The Giver), and Matthew Morrison (Glee) as part of the voice cast for the large ensemble comedy.
20th Century Fox meanwhile has pushed back it’s video game adaptation Hitman: Agent 47 six months to August 28, 2015, which will also see the release of another thriller, the Emma Watson (Noah) and Ethan Hawke (Training Day) led film Regression. Bringing to life these famous assassins, Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice) will take on Agent 47 himself alongside Hannah Ware (Shame) as his genetically-engineered counterpart, while Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Into Darkness) is also set to star. The move may also show some added confidence on Fox’s part, squeaking Hitman into the tail end of summer instead of the doldrums of February. Fox has also decided to give the sequel to the Will Smith classic Independence Day a little more breathing room; it’s been moved forward a week from the arguably more title-appropriate July 4th weekend to a June 24, 2016 release (still quite a ways off).
Paramount, too has been making changes today. Scouts vs. Zombies will ditch it’s former February 20 release, for a more fitting Halloween-weekend premiere on October 30. This film will feature several young up-and-coming actors including Tye Sheridan (Mud), Halston Sage (Neighbors), and Patrick Schwarzenegger (Stuck in Love). As of yet, the zombie flick will be free of competition from other horror-premieres that weekend, but will join the previous week’s release of The Conjuring 2 sequel.
Doubtless there will be more changes to the schedule before we hit December, never mind the films releasing closer to two years out, and if there are, we’ll be here to let you know about them.