We were all predicting it but now it’s been confirmed. Disney and Marvel Studios will not release Black Widow in theaters on May 1 as fears over the coronavirus pandemic continue to grow. The movie, said to be Scarlett Johansson’s lash hurrah as Natasha Romanoff, is only the latest major studio release to be pushed back or removed from the release calendar altogether following the spread of COVID-19.
Other Hollywood casualties include No Time to Die — now scheduled for November 2020 — Fast 9 — moved to 2021 — and Mulan, which doesn’t have a release date at all right now. Disney has also decided to remove The Personal History of David Copperfield and Amy Adams’s The Woman in the Window from their planned release dates.
This news follows the announcement that AMC, the largest cinema chain in America, will shutter all its theaters for at least six to 12 weeks because of the pandemic. That’s over 600 locations and 11,000 screens. Several smaller chains, including the Alamo Drafthouse, also announced plans to shut up shop for the time being. Essentially, any major blockbuster coming out now, with a huge chunk of screens unavailable and the government advising self-isolation for weeks on end, would flop in a heartbeat. The big question for Disney and company now is whether they hold out for another 2020 release or if they just admit defeat and focus on next year. Whatever the case, the industry is going to look very different over the coming months.
Before you ask, no, I don’t think there’s much chance of Marvel putting Black Widow on Disney+. There’s no way they could ever break even on that, even if the subscription numbers to the streaming service drastically increase over the next week. We’ll all just have to stick to our endless rewatching of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. What, just me?
Header Image Source: Disney // Marvel Studios