EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has curbed the planned September 17 release of its CGI/live-action feature Clifford the Big Red Dog over concerns of the delta variant. The film is complete, and there’s good early tracking (in the low 90s), however, with families feeling less likely to go to theaters, Paramount is looking for a new U.S. release date. Paramount believes it has a winner with Clifford, but only if kids can safely go to the multiplex.
There was buzz that the studio was pushing the film by a week to Sept. 22, however, they’ve completely unset it. Clifford was announced as a Gala Presentation at the Toronto Film Festival in September. The title’s Canadian rights are held by eOne, which was set to take Clifford to TIFF. However, as of tonight, it’s unclear whether it would still premiere there. There’s no mention of the movie on the fest’s site. Clifford‘s full trailer arrived in late June and since then has clocked 130M views in its first week.
Directed by Walt Becker, Clifford the Big Red Dog stars Darby Camp as Emily Elizabeth, a middle-schooler who meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) who gifts her a little, red puppy. She never anticipated to wake up to find a giant 10-foot hound in her small New York City apartment. While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is away for business, Emily, Clifford and her fun but impulsive Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure.
Patrick Hipes contributed to this report.