Disney has pushed back movies across its release slate because of disruptions from the new coronavirus. Its Marvel movie plans are being pushed back months, starting with Black Widow moving to Nov. 6. The effects go beyond Marvel -- Artemis Fowl, a sci-fi fantasy, will skip theater completely, for example. Disney said a new release date for the film is coming later, replacing its previous May 29, 2020 theatrical release date.
The coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19, has spread rapidly around the world into a pandemic. Cities, states and countries have mandated quarantines, health care systems are struggling and entire industries have shut down. Hollywood has been no exception: Movie theaters are shuttered, film and television productions are on hold and big-budget films are being delayed months.
On the Marvel slate, Widow is being followed by:
- Eternals on Feb. 12
- Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on May 7, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on Nov. 5, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder to Feb. 18, 2022
The studio's live-action remake of Mulan has been pushed to July 24, and its latest Jungle Cruise flick has been delayed until June 20, 2021.
For now, Pixar's Soul is still set for June 20, which is likely to be adjusted given that the coronavirus containment measures are sure to still be in place in many parts of the world by then.
Black Panther is set to debut May 6, 2022, and Captain Marvel 2 has been set for July 8, 2022.
Disney's changes underscore how disruptive the pandemic will be to Hollywood studio's meticulously planned cycles. As theaters close and coronavirus preventive measures keep people stuck at home, studios have mostly decided keep pushing back the theatrical release dates for mega-budget pictures. Their tentpole movies in a holding pattern, studios could be setting themselves up to all release a glut of movies on top of each other, crimping ticket sales
And now, facing the grim reality that the world isn't likely to return to normal anytime soon, studios are starting to send smaller-budget films straight to online sales and rentals -- and, with Artemis Fowl, straight to streaming.