Not everyone is ready to go back to theater, and it’s going to take a long time before moviegoers are comfortable. Warner Bros.’ domestic box office for Tenet, which only made $6.7M in its second stateside weekend (technically 3rd) is an indicator of this, of course, with New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco closures being a further stumbling block.
As such, exhibition sources tell us that Disney is pondering a theatrical release date move for Black Widow off its Nov. 6 date. There’s no concrete idea of where it goes, whether its somewhere in December or next year yet. It could easily move to Marvel’s The Eternals release date of Feb. 12 next year.
Also, as we told you last week, there was loose talk that Soul would go to Disney+. A Disney insider today disputed claims that Soul was moving to Disney Plus. The pic is currently scheduled for a Nov. 20 theatrical release against MGM’s No Time to Die. Disney recently put intended theatrical release Mulan on Disney+ in territories that had the service, and on the big screen in areas that didn’t have the streaming service. There’s no official data from the studio about how successful that was. Mulan grossed $37.6M overseas, $23.2M from a No. 1 rank in China, but that’s a low wattage result from the Middle Kingdom, an area that was expected to be a boom area for the Niki Caro movie.
At the end of the day, it’s just more bad news for exhibition. Here, they’ve taken the muscle to reopen, and the studios are vacating the calendar left and right, removing marquee product. Understandably, tentpoles need the wattage of media and marketing capitals NY and LA to shine, but there should be at least a back-fill of smaller titles to at least bring in some cash for exhibitors. In the wake of Tenet‘s opening, and NY and LA’s continued shuttering, Warners moved Wonder Woman 1984 from Oct. 2 to Christmas Day, STX moved the Gerard Butler movie Greenland to TBD Q4, and Universal/MGM pushed Candyman from Oct. 16 to TBD 2021.
According to a recent NRG poll, 51% of moviegoers are comfortable or somewhat comfortable about returning to the theater during the pandemic — a number that has spiked from the 20-30% in recent weeks. However, 49% are still uncomfortable. Another hurdle — only 41% of all potential moviegoers know that their local theater is open.
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