- The coronavirus has led to multiple film and television production hiatuses across the globe due to national and local recommendations to practice social distancing and minimize crowd sizes in both public and workspaces.
- In the United States, mass closing of major movie theatre chains like AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas, the former opting to potentially close for 6-12 weeks.
- Multiple studios are pulling March, April, and May releases as not to contribute to the spread of the coronavirus and avoid playing their films in empty theaters.
- Release dates are getting pushed to mostly undisclosed dates for the moment as studios attempt to figure out where best to place them as there is uncertainty when things could normalize.
According to Deadline, Lionsgate is the latest studio to announce the delayed releases of multiple films and those projects include Chris Rock’s Saw reboot Spiral: From The Book of Spiral (May 15th), Sarah Paulson’s Run (May 8th), and Janelle Monáe’s Antebellum (April 24th).
However, Lionsgate isn’t giving the projects new dates at the moment.
This news comes after Disney finally announced that their big Marvel Studios project Black Widow would no longer be coming out on May 1st and other upcoming releases (big and small) have been delayed indefinitely.
Many May release date delays have followed suit.
Why It’s Important & Takeaways (!!!)
Release dates are likely going to keep getting bumped while the spread of the coronavirus keeps increasing both in the United States and other countries.
We’ve seen a lot of citizens adhering to the CDC recommendations of cancelling events with crowds below 10 people but many during yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day and more importantly Spring Break are ignoring them which could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus, rather than slowing it down.
This is a sign that theatre chain closures and release delays might not end in May and potentially move into the summer with June releases likely next to get delayed.
Those June movies would include Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5th), Candyman (June 12th), Tom Hank’s WWII flick Greyhound (June 12th), Pixar’s Soul (June 19th), Top Gun: Maverick (June 24th), and In The Heights (June 26th).
Further spread of COVID-19 could jeopardize the entire summer blockbuster season altogether.
AMC’s high-end 12-week closure would run into mid-June and is only their projection in March.
Considering that studios, for the most part, aren’t re-dating these films they may be cautious and waiting to see how long these closures will be before announcing new dates.
It’s worth getting ourselves prepared for the “idea” this might creep into the summer movie season.
SPIRAL: Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.
ANTEBELLUM: A successful author finds herself in a horrifying reality and must figure out the mystery behind it before it is too late.
RUN: A homeschooled teenager begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark secret from her.