Studios are canceling the release of several major movies due to coronavirus fears potentially hurting box office revenue.
Update (March 14, 2020, 5:00 PM ET): The Batman has been added to the list of productions going on a COVID-19 related hiatus. The movie was currently being filmed in London, and will take a two week break effective immediately. As with all these productions, the situation will continue to be monitored to see when it is safe to return to work.
The list of productions halting to alleviate the risk of spreading illness is growing larger and larger, as Netflix announced earlier today that they would stop production on all scripted projects. We’ll keep you posted as we know more.
Original Post (March 12, 2020): Disney has announced that the live-action Mulan (previously scheduled to be released on Friday, March 27), Fox’s New Mutants (scheduled for April 3), and Antlers (scheduled for April 17) have all been put on hold. No new release dates have been announced yet, but the studio says they’re looking at dates later in the year.
One movie Disney did not push back was Black Widow, which is scheduled to be released April 24. One wonders if Disney will consider debuting any of these on Disney+!
Earlier today, Universal announced that it will delay the release of Fast and Furious 9. The ninth Fast and Furious movie was scheduled to be released in the United States on May 22, 2020. Universal has pushed back its release date an entire year, with the movie now slated to be released in the U.S. on April 2, 2021.
With a budget of over $200 million, the high octane, action-packed Fast and Furious films are designed to do well with international audiences. Roughly 75% of the gross of the three previous films came from overseas. Given those numbers, Universal believed it could not make a profit with so many theaters closed abroad.
“We feel all the love and the anticipation you have for the next chapter in our saga,” Vin Diesel announced on social media. “That’s why it’s especially tough to let you know that we have to move the release date of the film. It’s become clear that it won’t be possible for all of our fans around the world to see the film this May.”
“While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration.”
In addition, the highly anticipated horror sequel, A Quiet Place Part II, was originally slated to be released next Friday, March 20. However, it will now follow in the footsteps of the James Bond film No Time to Die and the children’s movie Peter Rabbit 2 in delaying its release due to ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
“After much consideration, and in light of the ongoing and developing situation concerning coronavirus and restrictions on global travel and public gatherings, Paramount Pictures will be moving the worldwide release of A Quiet Place Part II,” the studio said in an official statement. “We believe in and support the theatrical experience, and we look forward to bringing this film to audiences this year once we have a better understanding of the impact of this pandemic on the global theatrical marketplace.”
John Krasinski, who directs the film and starred in the first, likewise released a statement on his Instagram, saying, “To all our A Quiet Place fans: one of the things I’m most proud of is that people have said our movie is one you have to see all together. Well due to the ever-changing circumstances of what’s going on in the world around us, now is clearly not the time to do that. As insanely excited as we are for all of you to see this movie…I’m gonna wait to release the film ’til we CAN all see it together! So here’s to our group movie date. See you soon!”
A Quiet Place Part II takes place directly after the deadly events at home in the first film. It follows the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) as they face the terrors of the outside world and continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
Paramount has not yet scheduled a new date for A Quiet Place Part II.