The coronavirus pandemic has created haywire when it comes to the theatrical release of movies. With people in most countries in quarantine and theatres shut, it seems to be a pretty bad time for movie releases. With that in mind, Disney has decided to make several changes with regards to upcoming theatrical releases in order to accommodate big-budget movies like Black Widow and Mulan. Moreover, Artemis Fowl, a movie which was originally scheduled to release on May 29, is skipping the theatres entirely and moving to Disney+. It will hopefully debut later this summer.
Mulan, which was originally supposed to debut on March 27, is expected to come out on July 24 now, a four months delay. This move, moreover, indicates that Disney is hopeful that people might be able to go back to theatres by July to enjoy big blockbusters.
On the other hand, Fox’s Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds and Taika Waititi, will release on December 11 (instead of July 1) and Jungle Cruise, delayed by one year, will release on July 30, 2021.
Other delays in movie releases include:
- an Indiana Jones movie, which has been moved from July 9, 2021 to July 29, 2022.
- Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch has moved from July 24 to October 16.
- Fox’s X-Men movie, New Mutants, which is always seems to get delayed, does not have a new release date yet.
When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a number of movies have been moved around to accommodate the delayed schedules. Thus, Disney has decided to release Black Widow on November 6. It will be the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home and has high expectations amongst fans. Now since this date was previously held by The Eternals, that will now release on February 12, 2021. However, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings had previously held this spot.
Movie release delays thus, is creating a cascading effect and so,
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will open on May 7, 2021.
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will release on November 5.
- Thor: Love and Thunder will now open on February 28th, 2022
- Black Panther 2, originally scheduled for a May 8, 2022 release, remains unchanged till now.
- Captain Marvel will open two weeks early on July 8th, 2022.
The delays are happening so that there are no catastrophic loses to the studios, since these are fan-favourite big-budget movies which will definitely bring huge returns. Thus, a fullest possible theatrical release around the world is the only way to go.
However, the delays are probably only for movies belonging to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney is not trying to reschedule each and every movie in its release list. Thus, Artemis Fowl is moving to Disney+. Moreover, Disney had previously made Frozen 2 available three months early and had moved Pixar’s Onward to digital retailers and Disney+ early as well.
Studios like Disney, Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. are starting to make pipeline decisions. As a matter of fact, they are trying to decipher which movies are likely to do well at the box office (such as Mulan and Black Widow) and which can be allowed to be sent to digital and streaming exclusives (such as Artemis Fowl).
Notably, Warner Bros. had announced just last week that it will push back the release of Wonder Woman 1984 to August 14. Other than that, many TV shows have also been delayed due to coronavirus pandemic.