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              ‘Minions: Rise of Gru,’ ‘Sing 2’ Release Dates Pushed Back, ‘Wicked’ Indefinitely Delayed

              Minions Rise of Gru
              Illumination Entertainment/Universal

              Universal Pictures is shaking up its release calendar, setting new dates for Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Sing 2.”

              The “Minions” sequel will now hit theaters next summer, on July 2, 2021. “Sing 2,” originally set to open on that date, has been pushed to Dec. 22, 2021, leaving “Wicked,” an adaptation of the Broadway musical, undated.

              Last week, Universal announced that “Minions: The Rise of Gru” would be delayed because Illumination had to close its studios in France. As a result, post-production work would not be completed by the its July 3, 2020, release. But even if “Minions: The Rise of Gru” was ready for the big screen in time, there’s a chance that cinemas across the country will still be shuttered well into summer.

              Blockbuster season, the stretch between May and August that typically brings in the most revenues for movie theaters, looks to be entirely upended due to the closures. Universal’s announcement comes as every Hollywood studio has been forced to shuffle around major films in wake of the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent closure of movie theaters.

              Other summer tentpoles that have been shifted include fellow studio title “F9,” as well as Disney’s “Black Widow,” Warner Bros. “Wonder Woman 1984,” Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and MGM’s “No Time to Die.” That means that in the event that multiplexes are reopened by summer, there might not be any new movies to offer.

              Both exhibitors and studios have been hugely impacted by the closures. After theaters nationwide were forced to shut their doors, an estimated 150,000 workers were furloughed or let go entirely. AMC Theatres, the country’s biggest theater chain, furloughed all employees, including its CEO. Meanwhile Regal Cinemas temporarily cut workers wages while theaters are closed to avoid furloughs.

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