March 12 Update 2: Disney has now officially delayed the release of ‘Mulan’, ‘New Mutants’, and ‘Antlers’. The latter two, of course, are films that traveled over during Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox. All three titles have no rescheduled release dates. This comes after the news that for only the fourth time in history, Disney is closing its theme parks in California until the end of March. The amount of money Disney is expected to lose, especially just from the massive marketing of ‘Mulan’, is going to be no minimal figure. The film even already had its Hollywood premiere last week and has screened multiple times for the press. Expect to see coverage such as reviews and interviews to go on hold for the time being.
‘New Mutants’ has grown a notorious reputation for never being released. The film was supposed to be released in the spring of 2018, but will now be re-dated for the fifth time. Many fans have echoed their disappointment and suggested that Disney release it on either of their streaming services: Disney Plus or Hulu. According to Disney’s official press release, however, this seems unlikely. They proclaim that they, “truly believe in the moviegoing experience”. Meaning that for the time being, the goal is to more than likely still release these three films in theaters. If this epidemic goes further out of hand, that could easily change- especially for ‘New Mutants’ rather than ‘Mulan’.
Fans all look to ‘Black Widow’ now. You can read below in part one of today’s update why it may still be too early to officially alter the film’s future. On the other hand, new updates on the epidemic are released almost every hour of the day. Anything can happen, but for now ‘Trolls: World Tour’ is looking to be the only major release until May. This year’s spring movie season was over before it ever began. Stay tuned for more updates and remember to keep yourself healthy and clean.
March 12 Update: It seems like more and more films are getting delayed each passing day. The article below no longer entirely holds for ‘Fast 9’, ‘Peter Rabbit 2’, ‘The Lovebirds’, and ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ have also been delayed. Universal is now set to release ‘Fast 9’ on April 2, 2021. Sony has meanwhile only pushed their ‘Peter Rabbit’ sequel to a worldwide release on August 7 of this year. Paramount has not revealed a new date for their two films: the highly anticipated sequel from director John Krasinski and the romantic action comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae. This is another devastating blow for ‘The Lovebirds’ for it was set to premiere at SXSW this following week before that too was canceled.
Universal moving ‘Fast 9’ more than a year away may seem extreme, but April 2 was the original date for the release of its sequel, ‘Fast & Furious 10’. Universal already secured the date and considering other films are bound to get pushed and compete for open space in the following months- moving to April 2021 is the safest choice. This, of course, means that the tenth entry in the series will not see the light of day until 2022. Superstar Vin Diesel meanwhile has been promoting ‘Bloodshot’. The current epidemic did not affect Sony’s decision to keep the March 13 release, like we previously reported below.
All eyes are on Disney now. In terms of the virus, things do not seem to be looking better as new bans and restrictions are being revealed every day. The journey to wellness is far from over. In the wake of ‘No Time To Die’ being delayed, Disney told the press that there are no plans to delay either ‘Mulan’ or ‘Black Widow’. That was last week and the March 27 release of ‘Mulan’ is looking less likely. The film is already taking massive blows within the current state of international markets. Also, releasing a highly anticipated film right now might be criticized as irresponsible given the risk of audience exposure to the virus.
It might be too early to talk about ‘Black Widow’. Who knows what revelations April will bring and Marvel losing a May slot would be monumental. If the film moves, it will be the first May that has not kicked off with a Marvel Studios release since 2009. The first weekend of May has been owned by Marvel for a decade now. Needless to say that the month is a crucial key to the way the studio operates. Their phase 4 lineup would have no choice but to adapt and give ‘Black Widow’ a chance to perform well on a new date. This could mean that ‘Eternals’ and even the content on Disney Plus will be adjusted as well. ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ has also already delayed production overseas due to the virus.
All of these updates also come after the devastating cancelation of E3 and CinemaCon. All hope lies in San Diego Comic-Con and Star Wars Celebration not meeting the same fate. It would only add to the uncomparable blow that multiple industries have already faced. These decisions will more than likely not come until a later date, but for now, this article will be updated as new delays get announced. Moviegoers should remember that public safety always comes before entertainment. Stay tuned for more and remember to follow the proper rules/ virus etiquette issued by your home state.
Original article: MGM, Universal Pictures, and James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have just announced today that the worldwide release date for the 25th film in the series, ‘No Time To Die’, has been pushed back from April 2020 to November 2020.
As of now, the film is scheduled to release in the United Kingdom on November 12 and in the United States on November 25. More release dates for other countries are expected to be announced in the future. The film was initially set to be released in early April internationally, beginning with the world premiere on March 31 in London and subsequently being released to North American theaters on April 10.
The decision to delay the film comes after an open letter from the iconic James Bond fan blog, MI6-HQ, which urged the studios to delay the launch of the film due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. They also added that the ongoing outbreak could have potential consequences on the film’s box office. Huge box office money-making countries such as China and Italy, for example, have already closed all cinemas due to the outbreak.
This decision will likely be very costly for MGM and Universal given the marketing they have already put in the film that included the April release date. This is not to mention the new marketing costs that will be put in place to sell the film’s November release date.
The press release states that the decision is due to the “careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace.” The coronavirus outbreak has already infected over 90,000 people with over 3,000 deaths. Los Angeles has just declared an emergency this morning after they confirmed 6 more cases while the number of cases in the UK has increased to 85. Los Angeles is a notable location considering it includes Hollywood, the capitol of the film industry.
We have already seen multiple events being canceled due to the outbreak, notable examples include the cancellation of the Disney+ European launch event and the postponing of the G2E gaming event in Asia. US Conventions and conferences such as SXSW, C2E2, ECCC, and PAX East have already been subject to notable participants baking out due to the important safety of their vendors and representatives who would have to travel and be at risk. DC Comics just announced a cancellation of all convention appearances in March. However, this is the first case (of potentially many) where a film has pushed back its worldwide release due to this epidemic. There have already been cases, such as ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’, where the studio postponed international release dates that were greatly impacted by the outbreak. In the case of ‘Sonic”, Paramount delayed its China release the week of and still has not announced a new date.
Over the course of the next couple of months, the following notable films are still planned to be released in cinemas: ‘Mulan’, ‘A Quiet Place Part II’, ‘Bloodshot’, ‘Onward’, ‘The Hunt’, ‘The New Mutants’, and ‘Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway’.
’Onward’ is still moving forward with its release date despite the outbreak. The film is currently tracking to earn $100M+ in its opening weekend worldwide box office. Although this is a rather low opening weekend number for Pixar, it seems that the film was always destined to earn around that figure. ‘Mulan’ is a film that Disney was especially hoping to perform well internationally- specifically in markets such as China where the film gathered major traction from Chinese moviegoers. With the outbreak slowly reaching different states in the US, given the high budget of $200M for the film, it perhaps would be smart for Disney to follow in Bond’s footsteps and delay the release of ‘Mulan’ to later in the year. This is of course under the hope that the outbreak will be more controlled by that point.
The same could be said for ‘Bloodshot’. The film was always likely to perform fairly well internationally but could benefit from delaying its release date given Vin Diesel’s popularity overseas.
As for ‘The New Mutants’, ‘The Hunt’, and ‘A Quiet Place Part II’- given their smaller budgets it could be more hindering if their release dates were delayed. These films could still profit well despite the current state of the market following this outbreak. However, given how fast the virus is expanding into other countries and states, it could be only a matter of time until moviegoers no longer want to risk going to theaters.
This is all speculation at this point, we have no idea how the coronavirus outbreak will even impact films that release after April. Notable films in this category include Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’, Universal’s ‘Fast 9’, and A24’s ‘The Green Knight’. What we do know at this point is that it is very likely that other studios will follow the path that Universal and MGM have carved out with the delay of ‘No Time To Die’. Outlets are already reporting that studios are expected to lose a collective of $5 billion due to the outbreak.
The safety of the moviegoer is what is most important right now. There is no telling how this situation might escalate. Many might be worried over the fate of upcoming large events such as San Diego Comic-Con and E3. The same fear goes to any highly anticipated film. These concerns, as personal as some may be, should be secondary to the concern of loss of human life. Better for Hollywood to play a progressive role in this now than risk any danger later. Always remember, these films will still be released. These events will take place again next year. Let us make sure that many will still be around to see it happen.
Follow EIC Jacob Fisher on Twitter: @CinematicBanter