With coronavirus cases spiking in the US, the future of theater releases somehow seems more uncertain now than it did at the start of the pandemic earlier this year. As a result, movie studios are once again playing musical chairs with release dates, with numerous blockbuster movies being delayed in the last couple of days following Tenet's temporary removal from the release schedules.
Disney has once again reshuffled its movie release calendar, with Mulan temporarily being removed from release schedules and therefore missing its August 21 release date. Three Star Wars movies, scheduled for December 2022, 2024 and 2026, will move to 2023, 2025 and 2027 respectively. That first movie is largely expected to be the one directed by Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi.
Avatar 2 and the other Avatar sequels have been delayed, too. Avatar 2 moves from December 17, 2021 to December 16, 2022, with subsequent movies delayed by a year too, now releasing subsequently in December 2024, 2026 and 2028. Try not to think about how old you'll be after all of those come out.
Right now, though, according to Deadline, Disney isn't making any changes to its Marvel Cinematic Universe schedule, with Black Widow still scheduled for November 6. If, hypothetically, that film moved again, it would make this the first year with no MCU movies since Iron Man kicked the series off in 2008. Hopefully we'll still get a chance to see it this year, safety permitting.
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More big changes
Since this is a developing situation, it's unclear how things might change during the rest of the year. This week, US theater chain AMC delayed its plan to incrementally reopen from late July to August.
In addition to Disney's changes, Sony has delayed the third Spider-Man movie from November 5, 2021 to December 17 2021, taking Avatar 2's spot.
More drastic moves include Top Gun: Maverick moving from December 2020 to July 2, 2021 and A Quiet Place Part II shifting to April 23, 2021 from a planned September release, according to Variety (opens in new tab).
Summer movie season, then, is basically cancelled. One bright spot, though, is that Bill and Ted Face the Music will be released on VOD, as well as in theaters on September 1.
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