Since the coronavirus pandemic began to spread with ferocity in the United States back in March the studios in Hollywood have had to respond quickly and with more frequency. Films set to be released in March were delayed into the summer and now that we're in the summer some of them were recently delayed again until...a little later in the summer. Disney's Mulan is the best example, having been delayed from March 27, 2020 to July 24, 2020 and now August 21, 2020. Now it seems that other studios are preparing for another round of delays if a new report is to be believed.
Deadline reports that studios are "nervous about August" and that following the July 4th holiday weekend there will be another round of discussions about delays. The four major films set for release at the end of July and through August, including Unhinged by Solstice Studios (July 31), Broken Hearts Gallery from Sony/Tristar (August 7), Christopher Nolan's Tenet from Warner Bros. (August 12), and Disney’s Mulan (August 21), could all move back in a two-week block or potentially move entirely to September of this year.
The trade goes on to report that every studio, major or independent, is looking toward Warner Bros. and Disney for what they'll do with their own plans. As those two studios have frequently been forced to delay their films it no doubt means others will follow suit, so if Tenet and Mulan once again get pushed back expect the other dominos to fall as well. One release not mentioned in Deadline's reporting is The New Mutants, the ever delayed film from 20th Century Fox that is currently scheduled for an August 28 debut. The film could no doubt be delayed further.
Of note that Deadline also reports is Warner Bros. own internal considerations. Should Tenet be pushed back into September from its current August date, that would force another upcoming Warners release, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, to also be delayed. Currently scheduled to be released on September 11th, the third Conjuring feature film could be forced into 2021 if Nolan's latest is also delayed again.
In the end the future of theatrical feature film release dates are still a giant shrug, guessing game, and who-even-knows scenario. The trade notes things remain as uncertain as ever and quotes an anonymous "movie marketing boss" as saying, “These release dates are as firm as Jell-O.” To be fair to Jell-O, it's at least slightly firm if refrigerated long enough.
Coronavirus cases continue to spike in major markets across the United States, in particular California, so stay tuned as we learn more details on Hollywood's plans for their 2020 theatrical slate, at least what's left of it.
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