Well, this is a bit of a surprise. Two of Universal’s 2011 heavy-hitters–Fast Five and The Thing––have undergone a release-date shuffle. Fast Five, originally slated for release on June 10 2011, has been moved up to April 29–the exact date that The Thing had originally been penciled in to premiere. The prequel to the 1982 classic has now been slapped with a vague TBD date of release. Hit the jump for a closer look at the possible repercussions of this change-up.
There’s a few different angles from which to examine this news. Fast and the Furious, the fourth film in the series, made a nice chunk of change for itself back when it was released in 2009. Its near $400 million gross proved not only that there was still gas left in the franchise’s box office tank, but also that any subsequent films would almost certainly fare well financially. By moving Fast Five to late April, Universal has craftily situated the film as the first summer blockbuster of 2011. Not only does this add some additional excitement to the film’s coming unveiling, but it also effectively steals the First Release title from Marvel’s Thor, not to mention breaking the studio’s annual track record of summer season kickoffs, begun with 2007’s Spider-Man 3. Considering that Fast Five’s only competition at this point for the 29th is the teen comedy Prom and the Anna Faris-starring rom-com What’s Your Number?, there really isn’t anything more to say.
The Thing, on the other hand, presents an entirely different sort of pickle. It’s hard to know for certain whether the film’s sudden push into release-date limbo is merely stemmed from Universal’s desire to situate Fast Five as the summer’s first release…or if their decision arose from far less optimistic circumstances. Recent visits to the set had seemed to portend good things for the film’s quality, making the sudden lack of a release date all the more surprising. Whether the move is an indicator of the studio’s lack of confidence in the quality of the film (which wrapped filming on June 28) or something (hopefully) significantly less dire, we still don’t know. Either way, we’ll keep you posted.
via Box Office Mojo