Culture on My Mind
March 20, 2020
This week’s “can’t let it go” is really just an update on the movie scene.
Box Office Mojo posted a quick note on Tuesday about the state of cinema during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the same day that AMC and Regal announced that all of their United States theaters would be closed for six to twelve weeks, encompassing over 1,200 locations overall. As a result, several films have been either postponed or removed from the upcoming slates. Today’s post is an attempt to capture some of those for you.
- No Time to Die (James Bond #25) has been postponed to November 25, 2020.
- My Spy has been postponed to April 17, 2020.
- Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway has been postponed to August 7, 2020.
- A Quiet Place Part II has been removed from the schedule.
- F9 (Fast and Furious 9) has been postponed to April 2, 2021.
- Mulan has been removed from the schedule.
- The New Mutants has been removed from the schedule (which is the latest in a series of moves for this once-Fox-now-Disney Marvel film)
- Antlers has been removed from the schedule.
- Black Widow has been removed from the schedule.
- The Personal History of David Copperfield has been removed from the schedule.
- The Woman in the Window has been removed from the schedule.
- Antebellum has been removed from the schedule.
- Run has been removed from the schedule.
- Minions: The Rise of Gru has been removed from the schedule.
Because of the theater closures, studios are trying to recoup some of their investments while stoking goodwill with audiences. To that end, Universal has announced that they are making recent releases like The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma available On Demand.
Meanwhile, Disney has announced that Pixar’s Onward will be available for immediate digital download and for streaming on their Disney+ platform by April 3rd. This is in addition to the early digital release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the early streaming release of Frozen 2 on Disney+.
Universal’s Trolls World Tour is still scheduled for release on April 10th, but Universal has added an On Demand option for that film as well.
What will be particularly interesting is how these moves affect the film industry going forward, both in how the release schedule gets sorted out and how studios treat their titles with respect to digital availability.
It’s also interesting to me that drive-in theaters are increasing in popularity with the COVID-19 pandemic according to the Los Angeles Times, especially since they had recently been considered a dead cinema format. Social distancing has some benefits beyond killing off the virus.
As a special note, I hope you all stay safe and healthy out there. I know that physical isolation can take a toll, and I hope that you can take some time to touch base with loved ones through video, chat, email, or phone. I also hope you can find time to care for yourselves during these stressful times.
Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.
For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.