LOS ANGELES — The six-year fan campaign for a standalone Black Widow movie was paying off: at long last, a film would put Scarlett Johansson’s popular Avenger front and
“Black Widow” was to kick off what promised to be a typically lucrative summer moviegoing season, which runs Memorial Day through Labor Day and generally accounts for $4 billion, nearly 40% of the yearly North American box office. And there was a lot more to look forward to: Tom Cruise’s return to one of his most iconic roles, a “Wonder Woman” sequel, original fare from Christopher Nolan and Wes Anderson and more. Then the unthinkable happened.
Now modern Hollywood is faced with a gutted summer season that at the very earliest will kick off months late — and even that is changing by the minute. On Monday, Judd Apatow’s Pete Davidson movie “The King of Staten Island” switched to a June 12 home video release, following in the path of Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” out on Disney Plus June 12, and Warner Bros.’ “Scoob!” available May 15.
A few states are talking about allowing movie
“We’re down 50% right now,” said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “If
Studios have depended on massive revenues from the summer months for decades, but in recent years discovered that movies can do blockbuster numbers in nearly any month.
That will be tested with Hollywood’s massively revamped schedule. Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” will open on Oct. 16, “Black Widow” will get her day on Nov. 6 and “Top Gun: Maverick” is now set for Christmas time.
Some films abandoned 2020 entirely, including the “Fast and Furious” movie “F9,” the Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt adventure “Jungle Cruise,” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which all pushed to 2021.
It’s not as simple as just allowing venues to reopen.
The nation’s largest movie
AMC said it would open in the weeks ahead of blockbusters like “Tenet” and “Mulan” using “creative programming” of previously released films.
Eric Wold, a Wall Street analyst for B. Riley FBR, said there’s simply a lot of uncertainty right now around when
“Do you open now and show ‘Jaws’ and ‘Harry Potter’ and older titles? Or are people going to say, ‘I can watch that at home’?” Wold said. “I think (
Should restrictions stay in place longer, Wold said the bigger chains have raised enough cash to last to at least until Thanksgiving for AMC, and even into 2021 for Cinemark with no revenue coming in.
“Black Widow” will still have her day in the sun, even if it is in November, and all of the movies will eventually come out in one form or another. On Tuesday,
But perhaps the turbulence of the lost 2020 summer movie season will result in some strategic rethinking — at least that's what film critic and “Unspooled” co-host Amy Nicholson hopes.
“For decades, the major studios have wandered away from producing mid-budget comedies and adult dramas to gamble their money on gargantuan summer blockbusters,” said Nicholson. “I’d love to see the industry recover by greenlighting an eclectic slate of $5-$15 million flicks that could make moviegoing fun again. Time to swap out financial risks for creative risks.”
Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press