5:02pm PT by Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock
Universal's Monster Movies Get Delayed
Monster-movie fans waiting for the birth of the next great cinematic universe will have to wait a little bit longer. Nine months longer, in fact.
The Mummy, the movie that was meant to kick off Universal’s new monster universe, has been pushed back from June 24, 2016 to March 24, 2017.
The move has created a ripple effect, as the studio's second monster movie, an untitled project, was to have opened April 21, 2017, but now is slotted for March 30, 2018.
The monster movies weren’t the only Universal titles getting shuffled, although the studio didn't announce any of the changes until after its presentation at CinemaCon on Thursday afternoon was over. Rather, it spent its time onstage trumpeting release dates for the next two Fifty Shades of Grey movies, as well as the release date for the next installment in the Fast and Furious franchise.
Among other changes announced following the presentation: Universal also is pushing back Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim 2 from April 7, 2017, to August 4 of that year, while Warcraft has been moved from March 11, 2016, to June 10, 2016.
Additionally, the studio announced it will open Doug Liman's drug thriller Mena, starring Tom Cruise, on Jan. 6, 2017 (every distributor in Hollywood loves January now, after the success of American Sniper). Cruise will play former Trans World Airlines pilot Barry Seal, who became a drug smuggler in the 1980s before being recruited to work for the CIA.
Universal already had a type of monster movie slated to open in March 2017: its launch of a King Kong franchise. Kong: Skull Island is due out March 10, 2017. Already opening on March 17, 2017, is Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.