With growing uncertainty as to when the coronavirus pandemic crisis will pass, the summer of 2020 is looking particularly barren for all the major Hollywood studios. While some have chosen to move their titles to a VOD platform, more are simply pushing back their releases weeks, months or indefinitely.
News came this week that several more tentpole titles are not just gone from the summer but now formally absent from the year entirely.
Columbia Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife (in which a new generation of spirited young people uncover the original team’s legacy) was due on screens on 10th July and has now been formally rescheduled to 5th March 2021 and Morbius (the Spider-man spin-off about a doctor who takes an experimental cure and becomes a ‘living vampire’) which was due 31st July will now arrive 19th March 2021. The movie version of hit PlayStation game Uncharted, which was not finished before the industry shutdown, will move from its proposed 5th March 2021 release to 8th October 2021. Peter Rabbit 2: The Getaway moves from August 2020 to 15t January 2021. World War II drama Greyhound (starring Tom Hanks who is recovering from the coronavirus himself) was supposed to open in July but is now off the schedules for the moment.
That being said, many studios aren’t completely abandoning all hope for the year’s box-office. Keeping their masks on and their fingers crossed, Christopher Nolan’s mysterious Tenet is still tuned for a 17th July debut and Mulan (originally planned for March) is now proposed for a 24th July release (taking the Jungle Cruise slot with that film moving to 30th July 2021) and the new date for Wonder Woman 1984 (originally due out in March) is 14th August 2020. A Quiet Place: Part Two was one of the first movies to be pulled form release and is now set for 4th September.
Black Widow‘s new date is 6th November 2020, which initiates a whole change around for further Marvel releases. That was the day originally earmarked for The Eternals which now moves to 12th February 2021 (Shang-Chi‘s proposed date). Shang-Chi moves to 7th May (previously Doctor Strange 2). Doctor Strange 2 now arrives 5th November which was going to be the debut of Thor: Love and ThunderThe thunder god unleashes his lightning at the later date of 18th February 2022, a date Marvel had reserved for a non-specified release. Beyond that, Black Panther 2 remains on track for 8th May 2022 and Captain Marvel 2 now ignites on 8th July 2022.
Ryan Reynold’s Free Guy moves from 3rd July to 11th December and Top Gun: Maverick, which had a budget of around $150 million (scheduled to open on 24th June) now ends up being a Christmas treat, squeaking into the tail-end of 2020 on 23rd December.
Of course, all these dates remain tentative and conditional on the cinemas re-openign for business sooner rather than later…