Sony is doing some more shuffling on their release dates for The Equalizer 2 and Paul, Apostle of Christ. The Antoine Fuqua-directed sequel starring Denzel Washington has been pushed up to July 20 from the previously announced August 3 release date while the studio’s biblical drama will open on March 23, a couple days earlier from the original release date of March 28.
This is the third time The Equalizer 2 has moved release dates. Prior to announcing the August 3 release date, the sequel was set to open on August 10 and before that, it was slated to open on September 14. The new release date of July 20 seems pretty clear of competition for The Equalizer 2. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is the only big movie set for release on that day — which is a totally different audience. Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel was originally slated for July 20 and could have been big competition for the movie, but has since been pushed back to December.
The Equalizer franchise is based on the CBS series about a retired agent who’s a hired gun for those who require justice outside the police force. The 2014 film grossed $192.3M worldwide, 53% coming from domestic.
The move for Paul, Apostle of Christ is small and is appropriately a stone’s throw away from Easter Sunday. It will be good counter-programming for Pacific Rim: Uprising, Isle of Dogs, and Sherlock Gnomes, which all open on March 23.
The pic follows the life of Christ’s chief apostle, who formerly was a persecutor of Christians, and left that profession for a higher cause. Andrew Hyatt directs, Jim Caviezel stars and James Faulkner plays the title role of Paul.