Now that No Time to Die has been pushed back from April to November, due to growing fears over the coronavirus (specifically, how it could hurt the film’s global box office), anything is on the table. Will Disney do the same for Mulan, which has faced its share of controversy? Or what about Black Widow, which is scheduled to come out in May 1, or Furious 9 (May 22, Memorial Day weekend), the latest installment in a franchise that performs well overseas? Things could change between now and then, but Deadline reports that Disney and Universal are currently sticking with the original release dates.
“Disney is adamant that they’re not moving the May 1 release date of Black Widow, and Universal is officially not changing their May 22 release for F9,” according to Deadline. “Many in the distribution sphere heard rumors that Disney would move Black Widow to Marvel’s The Eternals Nov. 6 release date (and thus that the Angelina Jolie movie would head to 2021), but that’s not the plan at hand… I understand Disney is telling its exhibition partners that they’re staying the course with their current release slate.”
The same goes for Furious 9, which, like the Marvel movies, is dependent on the global box office; The Fate of the Furious made $541.9 million worldwide during its opening weekend, a then-record (later broken by Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, naturally). The real test comes this weekend, with the release of Pixar’s Onward. If it underperforms, then Disney, and other studios, may re-think their strategies. The film industry as a whole is expected to lose “at least $5 billion from diminished box office revenue and impacted production,” including the now-delayed Mission: Impossible 7.
Other high-profile movies coming out this spring that could be affected by the contagion (not the movie) include A Quiet Place Part II (March 20), Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5), and the Scooby Doo origin story Scoob! (May 15), although Deadline notes that Paramount has “no plans” to move SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run (May 22). Phew.