The Decision to Delay F9 a Year Really Upset Theaters

We were less than two weeks into March, and things were not looking good. By now, the production for Mission: Impossible 7 had shut down because of multiple positive COVID-19 cases, MGM decided to delay No Time To Die to the fall, Paramount Pictures had just pulled the release of A Quiet Place Part II, and the spectre of a massive lockdown was looming large over the entire country. When Universal Pictures came out and decided to delay the release of the scheduled for May release of F9, no one was surprised. However, what did surprise people was the decision to delay the movie a full year to April 2021. At the time, it seemed like Universal was overreacting as everyone thought things would be fine by the summer and they had to be fine by the fall and winter.

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F9 Poster. Credit: Universal Pictures

There is so much egg on all of our faces. Universal turned out to be the one's that were right on the money since the spring of 2021 is the earliest we might see the world get a little back to normal. For those of us here in the United States this is largely because we all failed to get our collective shit together and wear the stupid masks. Universal was the butt of jokes in March, and it turns out that the decision was unpopular with several entities. CNN Business did a piece on Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal's filmed entertainment group. She said that not only did the decision to delay F9 a year upset theaters, but there were people within Universal who thought it was a bad call.

"[Theaters] were quite upset with us because they thought that we were overreacting. Even people inside the company thought that we were a little crazy for doing it," Langley told CNN Business earlier this month. "But we just felt that it was better to sort of plan for the worst and hope for the best. Of course, now 2020 — pardon the pun — being hindsight," Langley added, "it was the best decision we could have made."

The best decision might be the understatement of the year. Universal would go on to delay nearly all of their major releases and even went on to change movies as we know it by releasing Trolls World Tour directly to VOD. That decision made AMC angry enough that they banned Universal movies entirely only to backtrack that statement when the writing was truly on the wall. Universal went on to broker deals with AMC and Cinemark to shorten the theatrical window to seventeen days. If a company managed to come out ahead within this pandemic, it was Universal, and Langley played a large role in that. Give that woman a bonus.

Summary: Cypher enlists the help of Jakob, Dom's younger brother to take revenge on Dom and his team.

F9, directed by Justin Lin, stars Vin Diesel, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron. It will be released on May 28, 2021.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at
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