Universal Moves ‘Fast & Furious 10’ To One Of Summer 2023’s Best Release Dates

Universal has just announced that the tenth chapter in the Fast & Furious saga will open a month later than initially slated. No, there’s no Covid concerns and this is entirely normal (and well in advance) rescheduling, but Fast & Furious 10 (or whatever it ends up being called, Fast10 Your Seatbelts is a popular online pick) will open not April 7, 2023 but May 19, 2023. So the Vin Diesel-and-family action sequel will now open on one of the best weekends on the calendar.

Opening the weekend before Memorial Day weekend has been a boon at least since the Star Wars prequel trilogy began in May 1999. The Phantom Menace opened with $64 million over the Fri-Sun portion of a $105 million Wed-Sun debut, causing some overexcited box office pundits to declare doom-n-gloom. The film then earned another $66 million over the Fri-Mon Memorial Day weekend frame and became the first movie to crack $200 million in 13 days. Since then we’ve seen blockbuster debuts on this weekend for Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Matrix Reloaded, all four Shrek movies, Star Trek Into Darkness, Deadpool 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3.

The general idea/hope is that the family-friendly holiday will buffer what would otherwise be a big second-weekend drop. It didn’t work for Alien: Covenant in 2017 (-70% after a $34 million debut), and both Deadpool 2 (-65% from a $128 million debut) and John Wick 3 (-56%/$56 million) dropped hard but steadied the ship afterward. Maybe the Memorial Day bump applies to movies to which you can take your kids, which certainly applies to The Fast Saga which has progressively gotten less transgressive (Remember when the heroes were outlaws?) and frankly more wholesome (Remember when the films seemingly had a mandated scene or three of cheesecake imagery?). Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Anyway, this date swap leaves April 2023 without a tentpole, at least for now. I mean, I guess the untitled DreamWorks Animation flick that just moved from March 24 to April 7 could be Kung Fu Panda 4, How to Train Your Dragon 4 or Shrek 5, but otherwise, yeah, no tentpoles yet for April. As for the summer slate, this gives us a pretty complete May schedule. We’ve got Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on May 6 (six years after Vol. 2, an MCU record) followed by Fast 10 on May 19 and Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Memorial Day weekend, with Shazam: Fury of the Gods kicking off June.

I assume something will slot into May 10, although slotting between two juggernauts will present unique challenges, especially with Guardians 3 likely crushing it domestically as Furious 10 soars to infinity and beyond overseas. Thus far, the slated tentpoles for summer 2023 are Guardians 3 and Fast 10 in May, Shazam 2, Little Mermaid, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Indiana Jones 5 in June, Mission: Impossible 8, Chris Nolan’s Oppenheimer, Wil E. Coyote and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantomania in July and Paramount’s Seth Rogen-produced TMNT toon in August. With the presumption that the schedule will fill out, it looks like Guardians 3 versus Fast 10 battling it out for the global crown. Place your bets.

The Tycoon Herald