Believing it will fare better as a holiday release than a big summer tentpole comedy, Universal Pictures has decided to shift the date of their anticipated sequel Pitch Perfect 3 yet again. Now, the movie has been delayed by almost 6 months. Where it was previously slated to land on July 21, 2017 it will now kick off Christmas weekend at the box office, opening on December 22, 2017.
This change comes just 22 days after the comedy musical was swapped around on the release calendar a second time, with the movie originally slated to premiere in theaters on July 21, 2017 before moving to August 4, and then back to July. There is nothing else causing the delay other than Universal wanting to find the movie its perfect home.
Pitch Perfect 3 was sitting smack dab in the middle of what has become a very crowded summer 2017 marketplace. It was once set to face down Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic Valerian And The City Of A Thousands Planets as well as Christopher Nolan’s next directorial effort, the true-life WWII thriller Dunkirk. 20th Century Fox had its animated tale The Story of Ferdinand set to open on that date as well. Opening the week prior is the blockbuster sequel War for the Planet of the Apes, and a week later sees the release of the Jumanji remake starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black.
On August 4th, the musical comedy would have gone up against the hugely anticipated sequel Alien: Covenant directed by Ridley Scott, which serves as both a prequel to his original 1979 classic Alien and a sequel of sorts to his Prometheus. Also opening in this frame is Blazing Samurai. But Pitch Perfect 3 is leaving all of that behind to face off against, perhaps, some even bigger movies.
Opening a week before Pitch Perfect 3 on December 15 is Star Wars: Episode VIII. This sci-fi sequel to the gargantuan blockbuster The Force Awakens is expected to hold the top slot at the box office well into January. On December 22, Pitch Perfect 3 will square off directly against the action reboot The Six Billion Dollar Man starring Mark Wahlberg and the animated sequel The Croods 2. Then, just three days later, it will have to go against Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman on Earth.
Pitch Perfect 3 is being positioned as the perfect piece of counter-programming for young female audiences while Star Wars 8 dominates male ticket sales. Both Sisters and Step Brothers actually managed to become hits going against The Force Awakens, which only proves that comedies in general are also good counter-programming. Taking Pitch Perfect‘s place on July 21 will be the Malcolm D. Lee comedy Girl Trip, which was originally slated for August 11. The story follows four lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival.