Hollywood is reeling as the ripple effect of the Coronavirus works its way through the industry. As fears of gatherings in crowded areas grow, movie theaters are impacted, and studios are rethinking their release schedules. After A Quiet Place Part II announced that it would delay its opening, Universal followed suite and revealed that Fast & Furious 9 will be delayed a full calendar year as it figures out its place in this new market.
The official release date, revealed in the following statement, will now be April 2, 2021. Fast & Furious 9 becomes the latest blockbuster to bump its release date, with James Bond’s No Time to Die being the one that triggered the mass exodus out of the Spring movie-going season. Here is the note sent out to media and fans:
While this is the obvious and safe decision to make in light of the spread of the Coronavirus, and the uncertainty that is swirling around his global pandemic, it’s becoming impossible not to dwell on the significant impact this is having on the film industry. In that, there aren’t a lot of films left to discuss as multiple movies keep dropping off of the Hollywood release calendar.
Mulan, for the moment, is still ramping up toward an opening. But as mentioned, F9 joins John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II and the latest 007 thriller, No Time to Die, as movies that have moved their windows in light of their concerns over the global marketplace.
And from a business standpoint, it makes total sense. These movies rely heavily on international audiences to boost their profit shares. Also, movies like F9 and A Quiet Place Part II are built with the fan experience in mind, and if they are not able to show off their wares to the full audience because of travel restrictions and quarantines, we can understand the filmmakers and creatives behind these franchises wanting to wait until the situation is in a level spot.
How many more major shoes will drop before this is all over? We’re looking at movies like Marvel Studios’ Black Widow as one that probably needs to adjust its releases plans, as it, too, needs a global marketing push, and audiences from all countries to be able to support it. Will smaller movies like New Mutants, The Lovebirds and Artemis Fowl also blink? How about Wonder Woman 1984? The future, at the moment, seems very wary, so stay tuned for the latest, as we are able to report it.