What Donald Trump's New Coronavirus Delays Could Mean for the Box Office

Sunday evening, President Donald Trump and his administration's coronavirus task force announced [...]

Sunday evening, President Donald Trump and his administration's coronavirus task force announced they'd be speaking with the Centers for Disease Control to recommend the social distancing regulations be extended through the end of April. On top of that, the President mentioned he expected the country to be in "great" shape by June, seemingly hinting the delays could eventually extend into May or beyond. It was an expected move as the virus continues to rapidly expand across the world and now, the delays will likely begin to send ripples around these corners of the internet for some time to come — especially when it comes to movie theaters and the world of cinema.

As it stands now, theaters — and any public gathering places, really — have been closed on an indefinite basis. Initially, chains like AMC Theatres announced they anticipated being closed anywhere from six to 12 weeks. That announcement was made March 16th, meaning the six-week window would pass the last week of April — something on par with Trump's latest policy amendment.

Through now, virtually all movies set for theatrical release in April or May have been delayed. In the case of a major James Bond flick like No Time to Die, it was bounced from March to November. If we're talking superhero blockbusters, Black Widow has yet to set a new release date and likely won't until things begin to be more clear.

What the policy delays likely impact more, however, is the remainder of Hollywood — the part trying to churn out content for theaters and television screens alike. Production has halted all around the world as studios implement social distancing rules and now on recommendation from the federal government, it's all but guaranteed all productions will remain shuttered for the next month. On top of that, there's a strong possibility it will at some point severely disrupt the release slate as we get into later this year and next year.

Before the massive release date shuffling started to take place, 2021 was packed to the brim with movies anyways. On the Marvel side, you have Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder and on the DC side, The Batman and The Suicide Squad. Better yet, that's not including Jurassic World III, Avatar 2, or F9, each a tentpole in their own right.

With production now widely delayed across every studio, it stands to reason that some of those movies will eventually lose their release dates as studios look for room to squeeze in their 2020 films. In the spirit of preparation, don't be surprised if news of 2021 delays begin to surface sooner rather than later.

Cover photo by Pete Marovich-Pool/Getty Images