Less than a month after they nudged Pitch Perfect 3 into the heart of the summer season, Universal is shuffling the comedy sequel into prime Christmas real estate with a shiny new December 22,2017 release date. This is the third switcharoo for the film, which was originally slated for July 21 before the studio bumped it back to August 4…only to be returned it once again to its original summer release…until now, when it has been strategically moved to the peak of the holidays, a spot I’d wager it keeps.
With Pitch Perfect 3 locked for the winter, Malcolm D. Lee’s (Barbershop: The Next Cut) Girl Trip will take over the July 21 spot. Produced by Will Packer (Ride Along), the comedy follows four life-long friends on a drinking, dancing, brawling and romancing journey to New Orleans for the Essence Festival. Girl Trip will now square off against Luc Besson’s sci-fi Valerian And The City Of A Thousand PlanetsChristopher Nolan‘s WWII thriller Dunkirk, and the 20th Century Fox animated feature, The Story Of Ferdinand. Meanwhile, Pitch Perfect’s holiday debut will pit it against The Croods 2, The Six Billion Dollar Man, and the big gun of the year, Star Wars: Episode VII, which arrives in theaters on December 15.
Even with what is arguably the most ferocious box office competition of all, Pitch Perfect 3‘s latest release date shuffle makes a ton of sense in the context of the franchise, which follows the talented Barden Bellas on their quest to dominate the a capella world and celebrate female friendship along the way. The Pitch Perfect franchise is a moderately-budgeted major breadwinner for Universal (the 2015 sequel took the title of the highest-grossing live-action movie-musical of all time), and by moving the third installment into the hugely lucrative year-end season, the movie is now open to include all the carols, jingles and anthems of the holidays — and the potential chart-topping soundtrack that could come with it. Or, as the studio says, “Get ready to have a Merry Pitchmas.”
Stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson Brittany Snow are all confirmed to return along with Elizabeth Banks for her second go in the director’s chair.