In a less than shocking move by Disney Studios, Marvel films such as Black Widow and The Eternals have been pushed back to 2021 due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The spy comic book film starring Scarlett Johansson is now set to be released on May 7th, 2021, after initially being pushed to November 6th, 2020.
The Eternals was moved to February 12th, 2021 during the early stages of the pandemic, and has now been moved to a year after its original November 2020 release to November 5th, 2021. These movies being pushed around has had an effect on another Marvel movie, Shang Chi, which was slated for Black Widow’s new spot, and is now moved to July 9th, 2021.
Unfortunately, it seems Mulan nor Tenet were not successful enough, in Disney’s eyes, to justify a Disney + or theatrical release. Unlike Tenet most Marvel films depend on the success of the domestic market, which is mostly closed right now, even though a large portion of theaters have been opening up in recent weeks across the US.
For example, nearly a third of the entire box office for Avengers:Endgame came domestically, according to Box Office Mojo. Not only that, but the Marvel Universe is one of the only event-level watches to come out nowadays, after the ending of Game of Thrones and Star Wars in 2019. Akin to a sports game, everyone wants to watch a Marvel movie within the first few weeks so they can talk about it with their friends. For comic book movies, spoilers still matter.
Disney’s only big movie yet to come out is the Pixar movie Soul which will be released on November 20th, 2020 in theaters after being pushed from its original June spot. Overall, it is clear that Disney wants to hold onto their blockbusters, until audiences can safely return to the theaters.
Many other studios have also decided to put a hold on their bigger movies for a later date. Though Tenet is out now, Warner Bros already pushed the adaptation of the Broadway musical In the Heights back from July 2020 to Summer 2021.
In addition, Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story has now been pushed back nearly a full year from December 18th, 2020 to December 10th, 2021. This will be Spielberg’s first ever musical, and it is intriguing to see a remake of the beloved 1957 classic.
Let’s face it, many of these delayed films deserve to be seen in a packed theater, and studios are waiting until the right time for that to be able to happen.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat