Just when it felt like we were starting to page into the brave new world of 2021, Hollywood had to come out and remind us that we’re still quite a long way away from the normalcy we once enjoyed prior to the pandemic, as reports indicate that No Time To Die and a slew of other major movies could be, once again, delayed. In fact, as one industry source called the upcoming release date scheduling a “mess”.
The only question left is whether MGM will relocate the 007 tentpole to October, December or November. The studio declined to comment. “I think everything substantive between now and Top Gun: Maverick in early July will move. It’s a mess,” predicts one veteran studio executive.
That group of films includes Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II (April 23), Disney’s Black Widow (May 7) and Universal’s Fast & Furious installment F9 (May 28), all of which were originally supposed to bow in 2020. There’s also Sony’s Venom sequel, which is set to open June 25, a week before Top Gun: Maverick and Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru unfurl in theaters July 2 in advance of the Fourth of July corridor. [via The Hollywood Reporter]
If you remember back to 2020, you’ll recall that No Time To Die was the first major blockbuster project to change its release date, shifting from May to November. That November release date was subsequently changed to April 3 and now looks likely to move again.
With another massive shift in release dates in the cards, Warner Bros’ decision to release their 2021 slate on HBO Max seems all the wiser, as the viability of the movie theater business model is far from guaranteed to return in 2021, particularly in the first half of the year.
As for when we can expect theaters to return in the way we used to know them, I honestly have no idea. While I want to believe the movie industry can return to the status quo over the next 12 months, there are simply too many moving pieces to make an accurate prediction at this stage. Obviously, Hollywood doesn’t have a clue, hence the constantly rearranging release dates we’ve seen over the last year. Just as long as The Batman doesn’t get delayed again, I’ll be happy.