2020 is proving to be disastrous on many levels and, somehow, it’s even worse for movie theaters.
Disney must not have liked the results of their own Mulan premium VOD experiment and/or what they saw with the business Tenet was doing domestically and has thrown a grenade into the schedule, triggering a cascade of titles being postponed.
They’ve pulled the lone remaining Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) title for 2020: Black Widow, which was set to be released November 6. Also gone is Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Death On The Nile which was coming in October. The full list of changes is detailed after the jump.
The results are bad news for the exhibition industry, which is facing fierce headwinds after closing for months due to coronavirus. The studio has kept the late November release date of Pixar’s “Soul,” surprising some in the industry who had expected the animated family film to either move to a later perch or get released on Disney Plus. The moves set off a cascade of distribution shifts that will upend the theatrical landscape for months. Other Marvel releases, such as “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Eternals” will all debut deeper into 2021. Disney’s release date shifts all but guarantee that box office revenues this year will reach a nadir — analysts have already projected that domestic grosses would decline between 70% to 80% due to the pandemic.‘Black Widow,’ ‘West Side Story,’ ‘Shang-Chi’ Postpone Release – Variety
Have to put these changes in bullet list, because there are numerous to share. All the more reasons we’ve not posted the 2021 list of movies coming soon yet (had it draft status and been making changes for several months now — it just keeps changing and changing and changing…).
- Death on the Nile (delayed, moved from Oct 9 to Oct 23, move #2 to Dec 18, 2020)
- The Empty Man (moved UP from Dec 4, 2020 to Oct 23, 2020) – this is taking Death On The Nile’s slot
- Black Widow – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from May 1 to Nov 6, move #2 to May 7, 2021)
- Deep Water (delayed, moved from Nov 13, 2020 to August 13, 2021)
- West Side Story (delayed, moved from Dec 18, 2020 to Dec 10, 2021)
- Eternals (delayed, already moved from 2020 to Feb 21, 2021, move #2 to Nov 5, 2021)
- Shang-Chi (delayed, moved from May 7, 2021 to July 9, 2021)
- The King’s Man (moved UP from Feb 26, 2020 to Feb 12, 2021) NOTE: this movie has moved around many times already
Keep in mind that the house of mouse was responsible for some 33%+ of domestic box office sales in 2019 (source). But, and hesitate to show unrealistic optimism, there are new movies still coming in 2020. Don’t give up on 2020 fellow movie theater fans.
Yes, a decent number of new movies remain on the schedule for October (6), November (7) and December (8) 2020. By our count as of this writing: 21 total new wide release remain left for 2020 including several notable titles: Ammonite, Soul, No Time To Die, Free Guy, Coming 2 America, Wonder Woman and Dune.
The news is fresh from earlier today, so we’ll see what other changes follow as time marches on.
To end on a positive movie-oriented note, just watched Enola Holmes ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – on Netflix that came out today. Good stuff! Didn’t think I’d like anything Holmes related without Watson, but his sister is entertaining fare. Recommended.
5 thoughts on “YIKES – Disney Postpones Black Widow, West Side Story, Death On The Nile … more”
But there’s nlittleactual advertising for these films, the kind of advertising paid for in advance. It’s easy to keep pumping out new trailers, but with Tenet and Mulan reutedly pulling less than half their financial weight, I can’t see why any film would go to a marketplace right now while a second wave is due…
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Not long ago the theater chains were promising “at least 85% of the theaters will be reopened” … yet the actual number being toted is 70% in current articles. Our local theaters (besides the one lone theater 30 miles south) are shuttered and dark.
It is looking more and more like the second wave is coming. If that happens, the 21 odd movies remaining will be pushed to 2021.
Regal hasn’t charged us for our unlimited passes, which is kind of interesting, meaning we have paid $0 for tickets to 7 movies. They had planned to charge us 30 days after seeing the first movie … and it looks like because of what happened they backed away. What a mess.
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It is a mess, and there’s been a good six months to prep for a second wave that everyoen knew was coming. Audiences won’t come back without product, and product won’t be programmed without the prospect of an audience. Cineworld just announced a huge loss; how can any cinema stay open if there’s no films to screen in 2020?
There are 21 films scheduled including some noteworthy titles, but I can’t see those titles staying the course if more theaters don’t reopen.
Unfortunately, the theaters can’t reopen due to local laws in some (many?) areas, so it’s not like they aren’t trying to get the theaters reopen and shore up confidence to the studios that it’s OK to release the movies as scheduled.
Meanwhile, staying closed sends a signal to people that it’s not safe to return yet, which further exacerbates the problem.
We’ve seen about the same number of people — not many — as what we saw before the pandemic actually inside the theater. Tenet IMAX shows are filling up … but one theater experience is not indicative of the entire country. Clearly, not enough moviegoers are returning. Either because it’s not convenient, they don’t feel safe or (most likely) there aren’t movies they want to see.
The 1 new movie a week plan — this week’s title is a LIMITED film — isn’t likely to generate enough theater revenue to cover expenses. I don’t see any new movies next week.
They pushed back Liam Neeson’s Honest Thief a week, so it’s only De Niro’s War With Grandpa on October 9.
Everything just seems like it’s teetering on the edge of closing again, this time for the rest of 2020.