The past two months have seen a number of theatrical movie premiere date changes, some due to temporarily suspended productions and others due to different factors, including needing to shuffling things around to accommodate new release schedules. The latest news comes from Lionsgate, which has adjusted the premiere dates for a couple of movies, among them being the hotly anticipated John Wick 4.
The upcoming movie John Wick 4 was originally scheduled for release in theaters on May 21, 2021, but it has been bumped to May 27, 2022, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The company has also changed the release date for Spiral, a horror movie spinoff from the SAW franchise that will now debut on the original John Wick 4 release date, meaning fans won’t see it this year as originally planned.
Another upcoming movie starring Keanu Reeves, The Matrix 4, is scheduled for release on May 21, 2021; by bumping John Wick 4 to a later date, Lionsgate can avoid a box office dominated by Reeves. It’s unclear whether this is the reason for Lionsgate’s date change, however.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has shut down theaters around the world, at the same time driving streaming numbers to new records. Without open theaters, new movie premieres that were scheduled starting in February were bumped to later dates; in some cases, the movies skipped theaters entirely and went straight to digital.
The way people consume new movies has changed, but it’s doubtful it will remain this way. The pandemic may bring long-lasting changes to when and how studios release movies on digital video, but certain films are best seen on the big screen, and theaters still offer an experience that can’t be replicated at home.