Movie release dates getting changed has become a regular part of life during the coronavirus pandemic, but A Quiet Place Part II is the first big example of a movie having its release date pushed up instead of back. Paramount Pictures and director John Krasinski announced Friday that the upcoming horror film will hit theaters on May 28 instead of Sept. 17 — the date that Paramount gave after originally delaying it in March 2020.
A Quiet Place Part II’s new release date comes amid a flurry of related news. Earlier this week, Universal Pictures announced that it was moving F9, the next Fast and Furious movie, from its previously announced late May release to June 25. While it seems that Universal has doubts about fans returning to movie theaters in May, other studios clearly don’t agree.
Paramount isn’t the only studio betting on May for the return of the theatrical business. Disney has both Black Widow and Cruella slated for that month, while Lionsgate has Spiral: From the Book of Saw set to premiere then as well.
It also happens that Paramount Plus, the company’s new streaming service, launched on Thursday. Paramount Plus is set to get all of the studio’s new movies as early as 45 days after they debut in theaters. This means that thanks to its new Memorial Day weekend release date, A Quiet Place Part II is now set to land on Paramount Plus in July — a surefire way to help boost the nascent service’s subscription numbers.
Part of Paramount’s confidence could be based on a new statement from the U.S. government regarding the supply of COVID-19 vaccines. President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that thanks to increases in production capacity, his administration now projects that there will be enough vaccines available for every American adult by the end of May. That couldn’t be better news for movie theaters, which have struggled mightily over the last 12 months. In fact, earlier this week, national theater chain Alamo Drafthouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
New coronavirus cases in the U.S. have been trending downward over the last several weeks, though they still remain near the levels they were at last fall. However, with the figures steadily decreasing and the number of vaccinated Americans now rising at an unprecedented pace — on Wednesday, the rate of vaccinations topped an average of 2 million doses per day for the first time — it seems that movie theaters and distributors have reason to be a little optimistic. While different parts of the country continue to feel the effects of the pandemic differently, even hard-hit areas are starting to open back up: New York City is allowing movie theaters to reopen as of this weekend.
While there may be reasons to be optimistic right now about the return of new movies to theaters, these release dates could still change. But the fact that Paramount feels confident enough to move up one of its highest-profile films — the sequel to a movie that set box office records — is certainly a good sign for the movie business.