Meg Ryan’s romcom return becomes latest victim of Taylor Swift’s movie dominance

Meg Ryan’s comeback film What Happens Later will now be coming... a little later.

The film’s distributor announced Friday (1 September) that the forthcoming romcom, starring Ryan and David Duchovny, will have a delayed release to avoid competing with Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie.

Quote tweeting Swift’s Thursday announcement of her concert film, Bleecker Movies wrote on X: “So we'll take our time... Are you ready for it? Meg Ryan ends her 14-year rom-com hiatus and the #Megaissance begins with #WhatHappensLater, now happening...later. Coming only to theaters November 3!”

What Happens Later was originally scheduled to release in cinemas on 13 October, the same day as Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.

In their film, Ryan and Duchovny play exes who are brought back together when they become stranded in an airport during a blizzard. It is Ryan’s first screen role in eight years.

Ryan’s film is the second to be swept aside in Swift’s wake.

Following the news on Thursday, horror mega-producer Jason Blum altered the date of his latest film release, The Exorcist: Believer, to avoid competing with Swift.

“Look what you made me do. The Exorcist: Believer moves to 10/6/23 #TaylorWins,” the Blumhouse Productions CEO wrote, referencing Swift’s 2017 hit, “Look What You Made Me Do”.

On Friday, it was revealed that Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour had broken AMC Theaters record for presale tickets sold in a day.

The Grammy-winning singer’s film earned a jaw-dropping $26m (£20.6m) in ticket revenue on its first day of presales, breezing past the previous record of $16.9m (£13.4m) held by Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).

“In anticipation of this announcement,” AMC said in a statement, “AMC has upgraded its website and ticketing engines to handle more than five times the largest influx of ticket-buying traffic the company has ever experienced before.

“But AMC is also aware that no ticketing system in history seems to have been able to accommodate the soaring demand from Taylor Swift fans when tickets are first placed on sale. Guests wanting to be the first to buy their tickets online may experience delays, longer-than-usual ticket-purchase waiting-room times and possible outages. AMC is committed to ensuring any delays or outages are addressed as quickly as possible.”

What Happens Later is based on the play Shooting Star by Steven Dietz, who co-wrote the film alongside Ryan and playwright Kirk Lynn.

The official synopsis for What Happens Later reads: “Two ex lovers, Bill (Duchovny) and Willa (Ryan) get snowed in at a regional airport overnight.

“Indefinitely delayed, Willa, a magical thinker, and Bill, a catastrophic one, find themselves just as attracted to and annoyed by one another as they did decades earlier. But as they unpack the riddle of their mutual past and compare their lives to the dreams they once shared, they begin to wonder if their reunion is mere coincidence, or something more enchanted.”

Ryan previously appeared opposite Tom Hanks in films including Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.