As plenty of high-profile summer releases fled the months of June and July thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, one studio remained steadfast with their intentions for a Summer Movie season. That, of course, was Disney, which, either through a willingness to accept reality or via a manifestation of the fairy-tale optimism that defines so much of its theatrical output. A few soon-to-release titles were moved, of course: Mulan and Black Widow were removed from the schedule, along with an assortment of Fox titles that Disney was still obliged to put out theatrically. But, eventually, the seriousness of this situation had to sink in for the House of Mouse, and with nearly all of its revenue streams collapsing and theater closings expected to last through the early summer, delays, like Thanos, were inevitable.
According to Variety, most of Disney’s output for the next two years has been pushed and shuffled about on the release schedule. This is meant to fill the gaps in the production schedule, as most of the filming and post-production that was supposed to be going on in Hollywood right now has been delayed thanks to the pandemic, but it’s also a sign that the Summer Movie season as we know it is officially over, at least for 2020.
For starters, Artemis Fowl, originally slated for May 29, will skip a theatrical release altogether and, instead, go straight to Disney+ (that sounds about right). Mulan will finally arrive on July 24, replacing Searchlight’s The French Dispatch, which will now arrive in theaters on October 16.Jungle Cruise has been delayed a full year, and it’ll now arrive on July 30, 2021. Indiana Jones 5, which was intended to hit theaters right around Jungle Cruise‘s new date, will instead move to August 5, 2022.
Marvel’s probably the hardest hit by all of this: Black Widow will now hit theaters on November 6, replacing The Eternals, which will move to February 12, 2021, replacing Shang-Chi, which will hit on May 7, replacing Doctor Strange 2, which will now hit on November 5, replacing Thor: Love and Thunder, which will now hit on February 18, 2022. Phew! At least Black Panther 2 is still coming out on time, and it’ll hit theaters on May
As far as Fox titles are concerned, the aforementioned French Dispatch is one of three titles from the zombie studio that have been dated, the others being Free Guy — remember that movie existing? — which will now drop on December 11 instead of July 3, and the Bob’s Burgers movie, will hit on April 9, 2021. The other Fox titles that were on the schedule, which were The New Mutants, The Woman in the Window, Antlersand The Personal History of David Copperfield, are still undated. They’re probably not a priority at the moment, all things considered, but we imagine that they’re already-finished filler titles that could flood a multiplex if, somehow, this thing ends earlier than expected.
There are a few unchanged release dates, however: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story will still come out on December 18, and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel will arrive in theaters on Christmas Day. Curiously, Pixar’s Soul, slated for June 16, still hasn’t moved dates just yet. Perhaps it’s a show of consumer confidence, but we imagine that it’ll move to the November slot currently occupied by Raya and the Last Dragon, if the worst should come to pass. Let’s hope that that confidence isn’t misplaced, for all of our sakes.
Update4/13 : Well, we were right. Soul has been pushed to November 20, which was occupied by Raya and the Last Dragon, and that film will now hit theaters on March 12, 2021.