Sony Pictures has confirmed its decision to delay Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway back 5 months from its prior release date, due to the coronavirus crisis continuing to spiral across Europe. Peter Rabbit 2 joins the other major studio release No Time To Die in being affected by the worldwide epidemic.
The sequel was due to launch in the U.K. and other European territories on March 27, 2020, and was anticipated to roll out internationally the following week on April 3. The family-friendly sequel would have played over the lucrative Easter holiday period in early May, but this timing no longer works due to the virus. The titular bunny, voiced once again by James Corden, will join new animals voiced by Margot Robbie and Elizabeth Debicki, while the live action roles will played by Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and David Oyelowo. Sony has opted to shift the international release for the movie to August 7.
It’s not just Peter Rabbit 2 in the midst of major theatrical market disruptions across European territories. With the reports of entering into a nationwide quarantine lockdown, Italy announced that all its cinemas were to be closed, which was recorded its lowest box office weekend in history. Today, Austria and the Czech Republic both banned indoor public gatherings of more than 100 people.
In the U.K., the original 2018 Peter Rabbit became the biggest family title grossing $56.3 million. Other strong markets included countries China ($26.5 million), Australia ($20.2 million), France ($12.3 million) and Germany ($12.1 million). However, with cinemas in France and China closed (for several weeks now), the Easter weekend box office for the sequel will be severely impacted.