As expected, the shifting slate of cinematic release dates continues to be a very fluid thing, as hot on the heels of news that Paramount is moving Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick and Mission Impossible 7, along with Jackass Forever, to 2022, Sony has shunted Ghostbusters: Afterlife to a new date – but only one week later than planned.
At least for now. The follow up to 1989’s Ghostbusters 2 was meant to arrive in cinemas on November 11, but will now be released on November 19 instead. It’s not clear exactly why the small move has been made, but at least the movie still appears to be making an appearance this year.
Sony has been one of the biggest vocal rejectors of pushing their big cinematic releases down the streaming route that others such as Warner Bros. have made the norm for at least the next year, so with Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Venom: Let There Be Carnage rapidly approaching, it is something of a game of chicken as to whether the studio is going to pull the movies or allow them to go ahead as planned.
Recently it was rumored that the Venom sequel would be shifting to January next year, but Sony have since doubled down on the movie arriving as planned next month, with Spider-Man: No Way Home being Sony’s other banker for the back end of a very up and down year for theaters, it seems that they are ready to stick to their guns for the most part.
Currently, all eyes are on Disney and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which opens this week in theaters only. How it fares at the box office will be viewed by many other studios as well as The House of Mouse themselves, as to how they will be playing future releases for the rest of this year. With Shang-Chi predicted to fall just short of $100 million on its opening weekend, that will be a massive boost to the likes of Sony who have mostly avoided Day and Date releases with the odd exception.
Ghostbusters Afterlife was one of the most anticipated movies of 2020, bringing back to the screen the characters and actors from the original franchise movies and a storyline that picks up the threads of the 80s classics, abandoning references to the 2016 version entirely. When the Covid pandemic took hold, the movie was shunted through the year until it landed in 2021, and again juggled around a little before settling on a November release. While this has now been moved again, the fact that Sony haven’t simply vaulted the release to next year is a good sign that they are determined to put the movie out before 2021 is out.
At CinemaCon recently, Sony screened the entire movie to a small audience, who subsequent praised the movie in ways that has only enhanced the need that fans of the Ghostbusters franchise have to see this movie as soon as possible. If Sony do decide to nudge the movie any further back in the coming months, then they may as well bring the wrath of Gozer down on themselves, as it would be no worse than they will get from fans. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is currently heading to theaters only on November 19.