Disney is pushing their Pixar feature Soul from June 19 to Nov. 20, the Thanksgiving holiday period where their animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon was originally scheduled to open. Technically that pic was to go on Nov. 25, and now Raya and the Last Dragon moves to March 12, 2021.
That early March period is where Disney has capitalized on spring breaks, with the launches of Zootopia, Captain Marvel and recently Pixar’s Onward, which many believed had an opening weekend that was partially slowed by being lackluster fare, partially the early worries of COVID-19 among moviegoers.
Soul, directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, follows an aspiring musician who gets the break of a lifetime, but through a twist of cosmic forces, finds himself transported out of his body and in the place where souls are created. With the help of a new soul there, he must find his way back to his body on Earth, while she learns a lot more about what living on Earth is all about. Nov. 20 is the pre-Thanksgiving period, exactly where Disney launched Frozen 2, last year. Right now that’s a crowed period with Warner Bros./Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong, Sony’s Kevin Hart comedy The Man From Toronto (which many think will move), and an untitled Amblin feature from Universal. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving will bring MGM’s No Time to Die, Warner Bros. tennis drama King Richard with Will Smith, and Sony’s Kristen Stewart comedy The Happiest Season (which has been shot and is in post).
Raya and the Last Dragon is directed by Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins. Pic’s logline: In a realm known as Kumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon.
Exhibition bookers were abuzz last week concerned about Disney furloughs hitting distribution, and who would actually be putting Soul into movie theaters at the studio. Disney is betting that theaters aren’t back up and running in full until late July by their own watch. Know that for an event film to come back, many industry sources believe that the New York City metro area, which is a huge market for box office, is required to be back up and running.
This is what the summer theatrical release slate looks like now:
The King of Staten Island (Uni)
No pics dated — open opportunity for a studio to fill
Untitled Purge (Uni)
Come Play (Focus)
SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run (Par)
Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar (LG)
Empty Man (20th/Dis)
Wonder Woman 1984 (WB)
The One and Only Ivan (Dis)
Let Him Go (Foc)
Bill & Ted Face the Music (UAR)
Untitled Fred Hampton project (WB)
Hitman’s Bodyguard Part 2 (LG)
Sept 4 – Labor Day weekend
The Beatles: Get Back (Dis)
Monster Hunter (Sony)
A Quiet Place Part II (Par)