Sorry, movie fans, but the 2020 release schedule just got a whole lot bleaker.
Disney has announced a massive rescheduling of its theatrical films due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kenneth Branagh’s Artemis Fowl adaptation, originally scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, is being re-routed to Disney+. (Ironically, Disney is the studio with the most blockbuster franchise features and the most titles best-suited for streaming, but that’s a story for another day.)
The studio also confirmed that Mulan and Black Widow, both of which have already been delayed, will still be released in theaters as opposed to at-home platforms. The former is now slated for July 24, which pushes Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s Jungle Cruise to July 20, 2021. The coronavirus pandemic has halted all production, pressuring studios into a balance of releasing completed films and still having enough in the pipeline to meet 2021 demands.
Disney subsidiary Marvel Studios had previously claimed seven release dates prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. That has made this transition somewhat easier for the studio. Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow now moves into Eternals November 6 weekend with Eternals moving to February 12, 2021, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings moving to May 7, 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness moving to November 5, 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder moving to February 18, 2022. Black Panther 2 is staying put at May 8, 2022 and Captain Marvel 2 has now officially received a July 8, 2022 release date.
Pixar’s Soul will stay in its June 19 slot for now, marking the unofficial start of this truncated summer blockbuster movie season. Elsewhere, 20th Century’s Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, moves from July 3 to December 11. Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, a Searchlight release, moves from July 24 to October 16. Notably, 20th Century’s The New Mutants, which was originally set to be released in 2018 and has undergone at least five date changes, has not yet received a new official debut.
Disney’s acknowledgment of the new reality serves up a significant blow to the 2020 release schedule with major franchise event pictures abandoning their premiere weekends. While Warner Bros. has shifted around a handful of films, the studio has not yet moved Christopher Nolan‘s highly anticipated original blockbuster Tenet from its July 17 release date.