Two weeks after pulling from the schedule due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Deadline has reported that Universal Pictures and Illumination have given Minions: The Rise of Gru a new release date. With a one-year delay, the Minions sequel/Despicable Me prequel is now scheduled for a July 2, 2021 release.
The new release date takes over the date originally assigned for Illumination’s other upcoming sequel Sing 2. That film is now assigned for December 22, 2021, currently sharing with Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 4. Sing 2’s new date fits comfortable in tradition with the first Sing’s Christmas 2016 release, which now proceeds the sequel by five years.
As a consequence for Sing 2’s new date, Universal has pulled their original Christmas 2021 tentpole release Wicked from their schedule. The adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical remains undated for the foreseeable future.
Due to the current nationwide lockdown in France, the production of Illumination’s movies have been drastically impacted with the temporary closure of their Paris-based animation unit Illumination Mac Guff. As a result, the unfinished Minions: The Rise of Gru would miss its original Summer 2020 release.
With the new 2021 schedule, this will be the second time Illumination will release two features in one year. The first time was back in 2016 with the releases of the first Secret Life of Pets and Sing movies.
As of writing, the current schedule sees Universal releasing a record six theatrical animated features in one year. In addition to Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru and Sing 2, DreamWorks Animation has three features in the 2021 lineup, with The Boss Baby 2, a Spirit Riding Free movie, and The Bad Guys. Universal is also internationally distributing MGM’s The Addams Family 2 as they have done with the first film.
We recommend visiting our Animation Calendar to keep informed on the inevitable delays of mainstream animated features.