The release of Downton Abbey: A New Era has been hit with yet another delay, amid concerns that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could keep cinema audiences away.


The sequel to 2019's film adaptation has been pushed from its planned mid-March date to a new launch on Friday 29th April 2022 here in the UK.

Our friends across the pond have it worse, as the film won't be screened in North American cinemas until Friday 20th May, meaning they'll have to be carefully avoiding spoilers for almost an entire month.

This is the second time that Downton Abbey: A New Era has been delayed, with Focus Features and Universal Pictures initially planning to launch the film in time for Christmas 2021.

Ultimately, these plans were scrapped in light of a surge in COVID-19 cases in both the UK and the US, driven largely by the rise of the omicron variant.

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While tentpole blockbuster Spider-Man: No Way Home has managed to overcome audience health concerns, most other movies have made far less money than hoped as the number of cinema attendees dwindles during the pandemic.

The first Downton Abbey film was a bona fide smash-hit, reaching a worldwide box office gross just shy of $200 million, meaning it's not surprising that the companies involved want to ensure it has a fighting chance in theatres.

However, this new date will put it in competition with much-hyped Marvel flick Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will be rolled out worldwide just one week later on Friday 6th May.

There is every chance that the two features can co-exist given that they cater for very different target demographics, with the first Downton film having no trouble sharing multiplexes with Stephen King's IT: Chapter Two.

A number of cast members from the television series are reprising their role for A New Era, including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt and Imelda Staunton, while newcomers include Dominic West and Laura Haddock.


Downton Abbey: A New Era is scheduled for release on Friday 29th April 2022. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.