Coronavirus: Self-Isolating Hollywood pulls more major releases…

Cinemas in China, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Italy, Poland, India, Lebanon and Kuwait close and films are being moved...

Film-releases are probably the least thing to be worrying you when the news is filled with viral announcements of the wrong kind.  But there has been notable fall-out in that industry. Though the word ‘Coronavirus‘ did not appear in their press-release, it seemed that the pandemic situation was a major factor in the decision to delay the cinematic release of the latest James Bond outing, No Time to Die, until November.  Now it looks like the delay won’t be a self-isolated example. In the last few hours there has come confirmation of other releases that are no moving away from their imminent release.

Commercials and promotions for both A Quiet Place Part II and F9 (aka Fast and Furious 9) have been appearing for weeks with both films due to hit screens soon… but they have now been pulled from the schedule – given the formal advice from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) for the general public to avoid places where a lot of people are likely to mingle.  A Quiet Place Part II  was due in the UK 19th March (with a US release a day later) but early Thursday morning came news that it had its European premiere postponed. Hours later this was followed by confirmation the film will no longer debut this Friday and a replacement date has not been allocated.

Director John Krasinski tweeted: “To all our A Quiet Place fans, one of the things I’m most proud of is that people have said our movie is one you have to see all together. Well due to the ever-changing circumstances of what’s going on in the world around us, now is clearly not the right time to do that. As insanely excited as we are for all of you to see this movie… I’m gonna wait to release the film til we CAN all see it together! So here’s to our group movie date! See you soon! #AQuietPlacePart2… Take2.”

The accompanying, more formal Paramount statement reads: “After much consideration, and in light of the ongoing and developing situation concerning coronavirus and restrictions on global travel and public gatherings, Paramount Pictures will be moving the worldwide release of A Quiet Place Part II. We believe in and support the theatrical experience, and we look forward to bringing this film to audiences this year once we have a better understanding of the impact of this pandemic on the global theatrical marketplace.”

F9 starring Vin Diesel, will face an entire YEAR’s worth of delay and is now set to arrive in the first week of April 2021.

“To our family of Fast fans everywhere, We feel all the love and the anticipation you have for the next chapter in our saga. That’s why it’s especially tough to let you know that we have to move the release date of the film. It’s become clear that it won’t be possible for all of our fans around the world to see the film this May. We are moving the global release date to April 2021, with North America opening on April 2. While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration. Moving will allow our global family to experience our new chapter together. We’ll see you next spring,” read a statement on the film’s official facebook page.

A few hours later, Disney announced the pulling of The New Mutants, Mulan and Guillermo Del Toro’s horror Antlers.  One has to feel particularly sorry for The New Mutants which could ultimately end up heading close to THREE YEARS late of its original proposed 2018 release and was weeks away from a debut (3rd April) that would have put an end to speculation about its problematic journey to completion.  Mulan, the latest animation-to-live-action project was set for 27th March and has an awful lot of money riding on its success so proves no great surprise in Disney now wanting to reposition it later, for the best outcome. Del Toro’s Antlers was due to be released on 17th April.  Many of the films had had huge marketing budgets, so pulling them is by no means an easy decision for the studios

It is expected that other big releases may yet follow – particularly if the US follows the likes of China, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Italy, Poland, India, Lebanon and Kuwait in shuttering the multiplexes. The changes  could arguably impact the profits of the films, however there’s little doubt that should all the dates have remained as planned, they would have been playing to reduced numbers, the studio losses would have been greater and the health risks much higher.