Universal has postponed the July 3 release of Minions: The Rise Of Gru after Illumination has been unable to finish the film in time due to closure of its Paris studio amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the first postponement of a tentpole that had been dated deep in summer. The film is the latest in the series since Minions opened in 2016 and went on to be a big hit, amassing $1.16bn worldwide and $336m in North America.

“In response to the severity of the situation in France, we are temporarily closing our Illumination Mac Guff studio in Paris,” Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri said in a statement.

“With this decision we are abiding by the French Government’s guidelines and doing everything possible to slow the spread of the virus as we care for our artists and their families.

“This means we will be unable to finish Minions: The Rise Of Gru in time for our planned global releases in late June and early July. While we all grapple with the enormity of this crisis, we must put the safety and protection of our employees above all. We look forward to finding a new release date for the return of Gru and the Minions.”