The next numbered entry to the "Fast and Furious" franchise has been moved back a year for reasons unknown, with "Trolls 2" budged from April to February 14, 2020, as a result.
Cinemagoers accustomed to new "Fast and Furious" movies every two years will have to put the brakes on to 2019's entry after Universal Studios announced that "Fast & Furious 9" will launch in 2020.
Eight action films to date, following a gradually expanded group of characters through different high-stakes scenarios, have accumulated $5.1 billion USD worldwide.
The 2015 film "Furious 7," which was the first to release following the off-set death of actor Paul Walker during the movie's production, smashed $1.5 billion in global ticket sales, nearly double that of its predecessor.
April 2017's "The Fate of the Furious" kept things north of the billion mark with a $1.2bn total.
Universal has elected to adjust the ninth film's release date from April 19, 2019 to a potential bumper Easter weekend the following year, April 10, 2020, and while no official reasoning was suppliled, the speculation is that a spin-off featuring two "Fast and Furious" regulars might arrive sooner than anticipated.
Dwayne Johnson has played enormous security agent and bounty hunter Luke Hobbs since 2011's "Fast Five," and in "The Fast of the Furious" his character entered a very reluctant partnership with "Furious 7" villain Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham).
The pair are expected to reunite in a spin-off movie and it could just be that things are progressing swiftly enough to merit an April 2019 release.
As part of its 2019 slate, Universal already has "Unbreakable" trilogy conclusion "Glass" for January, monster movie "Bride of Frankenstein" for February, "How to Train Your Dragon 3" and a new Jordan Peele film for March, and "The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle" mid-April.
In terms of direct competition, April 2019 and 2020 look somewhat similar.
Instead of opening two weeks after the DC Extended Universe superhero movie "Shazam!" and two weeks before a "Marvel's Avengers" ensemble in 2019, the proposed 2020 date for "F&F9" has it ready to go a week after an untitled DCEU launch and three before another Marvel Studios production.