UPDATED: 5:06PM: Universal kicked off its two-hour CinemaCon presentation — the longest by any major studio this week at the confab — with three jaw-droppers. First it bestowed dates on Fifty Shades Of Grey sequels Fifty Shades Darker (February 10, 2017) and Fifty Shades Freed (Feb. 9, 2018) sending a clear message to exhibs that if any holiday should be associated with Mr. Grey, it’s Valentine’s Day. Fifty Shades posted a $266.4M global bow and has whipped up $568.8M at the worldwide B.O. If that wasn’t enough, Vin Diesel took the stage to remember and shed tears for Paul Walker, followed by a declaration that Fast & Furious 8 will open on April 14, 2017. Vin Diesel made a similar announcement for Furious 7 at CinemaCon two years ago.
Both sequels will have to contend with Warner Bros. animated features. Fifty Shades Darker faces off with Lego Batman. When Fifty Shades Freed is unbounded, it will tussle with an untitled Warner Bros. animated pic. Two other titles share the Fast & Furious 8 slot: Disney’s Ghost In The Shell and Open Road Films’ Blazing Samurai.
After Uni’s presentation ended, the studio sent out a slew of dates — many of which weren’t announced during its stage time at the Colosseum theater here at Caesars Palace. Take a look:
–Legendary’s Warcraft released in 3D, will move from March 11, 2016, to June 10, 2016. Three other titles currently occupy the date: Warner Bros. The Conjuring 2, Lionsgate’s Now You See Me 2 and Sony’s action adventure pic Uncharted.
—Mena will bow on January 6, 2017. Pic remains unopposed.
—The Mummy will move from June 24, 2016, to Friday, March 24, 2017. The monster pic will vie to trip up Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 2.
–Legendary’s Pacific Rim 2 will move from April 7, 2017, to Friday, August 4, 2017. It will be released in 3D and doesn’t face any competition at this point.
— Untitled Universal Monster Franchise Film will move from April 21, 2017, to March 30, 2018. Currently the monster pic stands alone in its new slot.
PREVIOUSLY, 3:01 PM:Universal just announced that Fifty Shades Of Grey sequel Fifty Shades Darker will be released on February 10, 2017 and the third installment, Fifty Shades Freed will bow on February 9, 2018. Vin Diesel gave a tearful remembrance onstage of Fast & Furious star Paul Walker at the studio’s CinemaCon presentation today, announcing that Furious 8 will hit theaters on April 14, 2017.