In the wake of COVID-19’s continued grip on the box office, Disney made another round of release-date changes Wednesday, the good news for exhibition being: Nothing is headed to Disney+. That includes Pixar’s Soul, which is currently sticking to its November 20 release against MGM’s James Bond movie No Time to Die.
While we already knew Marvel’s Black Widow was set to move, it’s by far the biggest shift on Disney’s theatrical calendar, going from November 6 to May, 7 2021. That’s a complete annual delay of Black Widow from its original pre-pandemic release date of May 1 this year. Black Widow‘s shift kicks Marvel’s Eternals from February 12, 2021 to November 5, 2021, and moves Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings from May 7, 2021 to July 9, 2021 (a post-Independence Day release date that Disney had already reserved for an untitled feature). Trickling up into Eternals’ February spot is 20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man, which jumps ahead from its February 26, 2021 release date.
Check out Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani’s tweet about the Marvel pic’s move:
Eternals delayed to Nov 5, 2021. Marvel made the right & responsible decision. There’s a pandemic. Nothing is more important than health & lives. I can’t tell ppl to go to a movie theater until I feel safe going to one.
Take care of yourselves. I promise it’ll be worth the wait!
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) September 23, 2020
Most immediately impacting exhibition in the near future: 20th Century Studios’ Kenneth Branagh-directed all-star ensemble mystery Death on the Nile moves from October 23 to December 18. Movie theaters won’t be completed robbed: Backfilling that October date date is 20th’s graphic novel feature adaptation The Empty Man which moves up from December 4.
Delayed a year is Amblin/20th’s Steven Spielberg-directed West Side Story, now moves from December 18 to December 10, 2021; the movie is no longer in the mix for this year’s 2020-21 Oscar season, but rather for the 2021-22 cycle.
20th Century Studios’ Adrian Lyne-directed feature adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s Deep Water also moves out of 2020, from November 13 to August 13, 2021.
Soul sticking to November 20 is interesting. This will put pressure on Universal whether to move Croods 2 or not, the latter studio having a home-release drop anticipated for Christmas. It might mean that AMC is the only circuit playing Croods 2 due to its shortened PVOD window deal with the studio, and Regal and Cinemark won’t.
All of these release-date changes, of course, are in response to the continued closure of New York and Los Angeles in the pandemic but also recent spikes in the UK and other European markets, leading to increased restrictions. Latin America also remains closed. Not to mention, moviegoers are slowly coming back stateside.
How do the rest of 2020’s wide entries look? Here’s the ever-changing calendar:
The War With Grandpa (101 Studios)
2 Hearts (Freestyle)
Honest Thief (Open Road)
The Empty Man (20th/Dis)
Come Play (Focus/Amblin)
Let Him Go (Focus)
The Comeback Trail (Cloudburst)
No Time to Die (MGM/UAR)
Happiest Season (Sony/Tri-Star)
The Croods: A New Age (Universal/Dreamworks Animation)
Free Guy (20th/Dis)
Death on the Nile (20th/Dis)
Coming to America 2 (Par)
Dune (Warner Bros./Legendary)
Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.)
News of the World (Universal)
Escape Room 2 (Sony/Screen Gems)