At the end of last week, studios shifted the release dates for the big movies that are intended to usher in the reopening of movie theaters around the United States (and around the globe). Originally slated for release in July, movies like Tenet, Mulan, Unhinged, Broken Hearts Gallery and Bill & Ted Face the Music have been delayed between two weeks and a month due to the fact that movie theaters in some of the biggest markets in the US would not yet be allowed to open. But studios aren’t even confident the new August dates will hold, and more changes are likely to come.
Thanks to the rising number of coronavirus cases keeping some major cities from reopening movie theaters in July, not to mention the constant shift in release dates, Warner Bros. Pictures is leaning towards delaying The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It from its September 11, 2020 release date and shifting it back to sometime in 2021. The major studios don’t think the new August release dates are a safe bet, and they’re anticipating the aforementioned titles will be pushed into September, shaking up the fall release calendar significantly.
Deadline has word on Warner Bros. Pictures possibly having The Conjuring 3 delayed, but they haven’t made a firm decision yet. If Tenet, Mulan, Unhinged, Broken Hearts Gallery, and Bill & Ted Face the Music get pushed into September, then there’s a chance The Conjuring 3 could shift into the June 4, 2021 release date that New Line had already staked out for another unnamed horror film. But that depends on what studios do about the upcoming releases currently slated for August.
Warner Bros. and the rest of the major studios will be making decisions about upcoming release dates after the July 4th holiday weekend. If the prospect of movie theaters reopening in certain major markets, like New York City and Los Angeles, still doesn’t look good, then they’re likely to shift back the first wave theatrical releases by another two weeks, which will result in other movies slated for September being shifted too. As one movie marketing executive told Deadline, “These release dates are as firm as Jell-O.”
At this point, I don’t know why the studios don’t just hold off on scheduling new release dates indefinitely until the situation is much more favorable. Obviously they’re trying to help movie theaters by giving them a window in which they can expect to reopen and adequately prepare to receive audiences again under social distancing guidelines, but it’s not likely to happen anytime soon if COVID-19 continues to have a resurgence in numbers thanks to people not wearing masks…not to mention certain officials in several states being careless about reopening businesses.
If everyone just wore a mask for around a month, we could have more businesses reopen and wouldn’t have to keep playing this game. Wearing a mask isn’t political, no matter how many old white men and their crazy Karens want to believe it is. This is science, and the spread of infection is greatly decreased by wearing a mask. You can go back to the bars and lick each other’s faces or whatever the hell it is you want to do after we drastically reduce the number of COVID-19 cases again. But until that happens, you won’t be seeing any movies in theaters for the foreseeable future.
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