Well, looks like Mulan was the abject failure that everyone assumed it would be (or, well, we assumed it would be, given how the Mouse was praised for dropping their movie on Disney+ at the time). According to the entertainment news ouroboros that is Variety/THR/Deadline/Indiewire/Rolling Stone/Vibe/Billboard, Disney’s shuffling about their schedule a little bit so that they can recoup the massive investment required to create, market, and release a truly seismic event film. This means that you won’t be getting any Marvel films this year, comic book fans.
Black Widow, originally re-slated for November 6 from its original May release, will now avoid the winter and spring entirely and kick off what is sure to be a genuinely jam-packed summer movie schedule in May 2021. Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story will move a year back, from December 2020 to December 2021, and Adrian Lyne’s Deep Water will jump to August 13, 2021 from its original November release date. Death on the Nile, meanwhile, will move to December 18, instead of its original October 23 release date. Moving up, ironically enough, is The Empty Man, a James Badge Dale-led comic adaptation, which will hit theaters on October 23 instead of the first week in December.
Black Widow, of course, causes its own scheduling headaches within the MCU, and has now caused Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals to move from its rescheduled February release date (which will now be filled by The King’s Man) to November 5, and Shang-Chi will move three months from May to July 9. What a nightmare.
Notably, there are a number of big films on the schedule that are staying put as of right now: Pixar’s Soul is still scheduled to hit screens on November 20, while the Ryan Reynolds actioner Free Guywill still land on December 11. Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland is still scheduled for December 4 in limited release. All of these could all potentially be rescheduled by Disney, but there is plenty of upside in keeping them where they’re currently (especially since the latter two are Fox acquisitions).
So the news is just bad for theaters, but not absolutely horrible. Let’s hope things go well enough this fall and winter that things don’t have to change too much more.