Please excuse the FIRST LOOK Friday interruption, as there are many, many film delays to comment on. It’s becoming hard to keep up with them all, but by the end of this post we’ll both be more in the know.
First up, James Cameron’s billion dollar budget Avatar sequels may have started refilming not too long ago but Disney is delaying the December 2021 release by a full year. It doesn’t stop there, that pushes back the other sequels, of course.
Of course, with Avatar 2 being pushed to December 16, 2022, that means the other three Avatar sequels have been delayed as well. As it stands now, Avatar 3 is now scheduled for December 20, 2024, followed by Avatar 4 on December 18, 2026 and Avatar 5 on December 22, 2028. Assuming those dates stick (and given this franchise’s track record and these crazy times we live in, that’s far from guaranteed), that means by the time the Avatar film series concludes, it’ll have been nearly 20 years since the first movie came out and took the world by storm.James Cameron Responds To Avatar 2’s Latest Delay – CINEMABLEND
Who didn’t expect this delay? These Avatar sequels have been cursed for delays since starting. I’m about 30% certain we’ll even see this in 2022, but we’ll save that snark for another day. What’s even worse, perhaps, is contemplating how even the wizard James Cameron, master of technology in filmmaking can make back this mammoth budget. I suppose if anybody can do it, he has the track record. Just seems on the heels of a complete abortive Terminator sequel failure and the pandemic fallout, prospects are unfavorable.
Mulan delayed, but not “indefinitely”
Moving to the next obvious delay from Disney is Mulan. They’ve pulled a Tenet and aren’t giving us any sort of future date yet. “Indefinitely” is what other publications are labeling it, but that’s misleading. They aren’t indefinitely delaying Mulan, they just haven’t chosen a future date — yet. Am curious if that date will be close to Tenet. The two films have enjoyed a lot of promotional press for being indicators of the healthy state of cinemas during the pandemic.
Don’t want to speculate too much here, but it seems reasonable to believe that whatever films open first are likely not to perform as well as they would have before the pandemic — but there are so many details involved: when the theaters are reopened, how many theaters are opened both domestically and internationally, safety protocols and more. I do believe there is a strong desire for people to see movies in theaters again someday, but safety first is on everybody’s minds as long as there isn’t a vaccine for the The Thing That Should Not Be Named.
AMC delays reopening until mid to late August
Regal was already out (see: Regal Cinemas Delays Reopening Once Again – Now Closed 126+ days – Tenet exploring outside US premiere first), choosing the “we don’t know when we are reopening” date which is code for “we will open as soon as AMC reopens”, but AMC, again predictably following Tenet delay is saying they won’t open until mid to late August.
Bottom line is Summer 2020 for movies in America is dead, gone and soon to be cremated or buried. We now must look to the Fall and beyond for cinematic salvation.
Bill & Ted Face The Music – day and date release on September 1
Bill & Ted: Face The Music, which I have scheduled for a FIRST LOOK today has been bumped to September 1, 2020 simultaneously on both VOD and whatever theaters are open. We won’t hear a peep from NATO / AMC on this one, as they have too many fires raging on their lawn to squabble over theatrical windows any more.
Speaking of NATO, they lost their lawsuit to force opening in New Jersey.
Top Gun: Maverick re-holsters release until July 2, 2021
We’ll have to contain our excitement for Maverick’s return. Paramount has grounded Tom Cruise’s sequel until July 2, 2021. Paramount’s horror sequel, A Quiet Place: Part II, will not be released until 2021 either. That is covered below.
What other announced film delays?
Am certain to be missing some, but here’s what we’ve learned as of this writing, bullet-style in chronological delayed release date:
- Unhinged – delayed from July 31, making this the lone new title that would have been released in theaters in July, now that only happens in the Twilight Zone. A third delay with no specific August date, but studio Solstice wants to release next month. They are in a holding pattern to see what Tenet and Mulan are doing.
- The Empty Man – delayed from August 7 to December 4, 2020
- SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run – delayed multiple times, most recently from August 7 until January 2021 with day and date release (VOD + Theaters)
- A Quiet Place Part II – delayed multiple times, most recently from September 4, 2020 to April 23, 2021
- The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – delayed from September 11, 2020 to June 4, 2021
- 2 Hearts – delayed from September 11 to October 16
- Halloween Kills – delayed from October 16, 2020 to October 15, 2021
- The New Mutants – psych! This one has not been delayed again — yet — and is still planned for August 28. They reiterated this at the Comic-Con@Home panel. It’s still almost a month away, so this could change …
For a complete list of movies coming to theaters in 2020, visit: FIRST LOOK: 75+ Movies Coming To Theaters In 2020 — the title of that post will probably be wrong at the rate we’re going, but that page continues to be updated regularly. I’ve started a 2021 coming soon to theaters page, but not ready to share that quite yet, because of the ever-changing dates and moves.
What’s left coming to theaters in August 2020?
Seven movies as of this writing. I’ll have that posted at some point in the next week, but again, still waiting to see further movie delays. September only shows *3* movies coming to theaters at the moment. Based on everything that’s not happening, more delays should be expected.