Universal Studios, the film arm of Comcast's (CMCSA) - Get Report NBCUniversal media company, announced that the film 'Minions: Rise of Gru' will be delayed until 2021 due to production disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has not been able to finish production in Paris due to the outbreak, so it announced a new debut date of July 2, 2021. The movie is the sequel to the popular 'Minions' spin-off that debuted in 2015 and ended up grossing more than a billion dollars worldwide, according to industry site BoxOfficeMojo.
The film franchise has spawned four other films, which themselves were a spinoff another popular Illumination film franchise, 'Despicable Me.'
The company also announced its live-action version of the popular Broadway musical 'Wicked' was taken off of Universal's release slate. Universal already pushed back the debut of its biggest film franchise 'F9' to March 2021.
Universal's announcement comes just days after Sony's film studio announced that it was pushing nearly its full slate of 2020 releases to 2021. Sony is rescheduling the debuts of 'Morbius,' 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife,' 'Uncharted,' and 'Peter Rabbit 2.'
Despite consumer trends towards streaming services and at-home movie-watching options, the theater industry is still massive. The movie theater industry brought in more than $15 billion in 2019 with $11 billion of that amount coming directly from ticket sales.
“I think if we learned anything in the last two weeks is people just so want to get out of their houses. I think we’re all feeling cooped up and want to get out and have life return to normal," AMC Theaters (AMC) - Get Report CEO Adam Aron told CNBC Tuesday.