Lately many studios are postponing movie release dates due to theater closure and social distancing orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This is likely going to lead to much more competition when, and if, the theaters re-open.
As it stands theaters like AMC are teetering on the edge of collapse and other theater chains are borrowing what they can from the debt market in an attempt to stay afloat. When theaters do open, movies are going to pile on top of each other and even studios like Disney will have their own movie releases competing directly against each other at the box office.
Right now Disney’s own release schedule has many films releasing just a week after one of their other films.
Here’s the release schedule as it stands right now according to Comicbookmovie.com:
- 07/24/20 – MULAN (Walt Disney Pictures)
- 08/07/20 – EMPTY MAN (20th Century Studios)
- 08/14/20 – THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN (Walt Disney Pictures)
- 09/04/20 – THE BEATLES: GET BACK (Walt Disney Pictures)
- 09/18/20 – THE KING’S MAN (20th Century Studios)
- 10/09/20 – DEATH ON THE NILE (20th Century Studios)
- 10/16/20 – THE FRENCH DISPATCH (Searchlight Pictures)
- 10/23/20 – EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE (20th Century Studios)
- 11/06/20 – BLACK WIDOW (Marvel Studios/Disney)
- 11/13/20 – DEEP WATER (20th Century Studios)
- 11/20/20 – SOUL (Disney·Pixar)
- 12/11/20 – FREE GUY (20th Century Studios)
- 12/18/20 – WEST SIDE STORY (20th Century Studios)
- 12/25/20* – THE LAST DUEL (20th Century Studios) *limited, opening wide on 01/08/21
They also pointed out that with the 19 weekends AFTER the Mulan release on July 12th, Disney and their other studios, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, Disney/Pixar and Marvel Studios, have films releasing on 14 of those weekends.
It’s the same way for other studios as well, they are releasing films closer together, or against Disney’s films. Sometimes they aren’t ideal match-ups. Normally, studios can adjust their schedule to give films a better chance, but now they have to actually get them out.
Of course all of this will likely change again and further compound the competition if the cinemas can’t open due to longer social distancing measures. Several states, including California, have indicated the shut-downs could go on until it’s “safe” for them to reopen. That could be months down the road.
This is definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward. Several big films have already been moved to 2021 like the upcoming Ghostbusters film, The Eternals, Morbius, Uncharted, Raya and the Last Dragon, Disney’s The Jungle Cruise, and so on. If the theaters extend closures, we will see even more push backs into 2021, creatiing the same competition issues we are seeing for the second half of 2020.
What do you think? Comment and let us know.