Hereditary director Ari Aster's Midsommar has moved up a month. While it didn't earn much (or any, really) love this past awards season, Aster's feature debut was generally considered to be one of the best horror movies of 2018. Fans of the genre didn't have to wait long to find out when Aster's sophomore film would be arriving either, as Midsommar was announced before Hereditary begin its theatrical release last May. Production got underway shortly after in Hungary, with a cast led by Florence Pugh (Fighting with my Family) and Jack Reynor (Detroit).
Pugh stars in Midsommar as Dani, a young woman who goes on vacation to Sweden with her boyfriend (Reynor), following a personal tragedy. The pair arrive in the country in time to check out an extremely rare 9-day festival that only takes place every 90 years. However, as the ceremony gets underway, it quickly becomes apparent that there's something horrifying beneath the sunny surface of this Swedish-puritan style holiday. And for those who're excited to find out exactly what that means, we have good news.
Deadline is reporting that A24 has bumped Midsommar's release date up a month this summer from August 9 to July 3. The low-budget horror film is now positioned to serve as counter-programming to this Fourth of July holiday's big release, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Marvel Studios and Sony's Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel will open two days later on July 5 (its Thursday preview screenings aside).
It's not really surprising that A24 decided to move Midsommar away from its original August date. Aster's film was previously gearing up to face-off with several other big titles opening that weekend, ranging from Disney's Artemis Fowl to the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark adaptation (which Guillermo del Toro produced and co-wrote). That said, Midsommar will now have to battle the Child's Play remake and The Conjuring spinoff Annabelle Comes Home in their third and second week of release, respectively. Of course, horror movies have a tendency to be front-loaded at the box office (Conjuring spinoffs and prequels especially), so Midsommar shouldn't have too much trouble handling its direct competition over the Fourth of July frame.
Beyond that, it'll interesting to see how Midsommar compares to Hereditary, as far as the critical reception is concerned. The sophomore slump is pretty common among directors, but there are certainly filmmakers who've avoided it before (most recently, Jordan Peele with Us). Aster's second film will no doubt benefit from having an intriguing cast led by Pugh and Poulter, plus actors like William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) in supporting roles. More than that, the movie's synopsis suggests Midsommar should have some real emotional depth to go with its scares, much like Hereditary before it.
- Midsommar (2019) release date: Jul 03, 2019