The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus across the world has resulted in the movie industry adjusting its plans accordingly. It started with studios cancelling the Chinese premieres of various movies, but now it’s gotten to the point where rather than coming out in April as originally planned, No Time to Die, the latest James Bond movie, has been postponed to November. Does this mean other movies will follow suit and be pushed back for the same preventative reasons?
It’s entirely possible, but for right now, it doesn’t look like Disney’s Black Widow and Universal’s F9 will be among them. According to Deadline, neither studios have any plans to delay their respective movies, with Disney specifically telling its exhibition partners that it’s “staying the course.” Black Widow is set to drop on May 1, and F9 will follow on May 22.
Both of these movies hail from franchises that perform quite well in Asian markets, so it’s understandable why people would wonder if the next installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Fast & Furious film series would be delayed due to the coronavirus scare. Evidently though, Disney and Universal feel confident in sticking to their current release plans, though if the coronavirus situation worsens, it’s possible Black Widow and/or F9 might be moved at the eleventh hour.
Should that happen, that would be a major shakeup for two movies that are part of franchises that thrive in the summertime. Marvel in particular is famous for snagging either the first weekend of May or, in the case of the latter two Avengers installments, the last weekend in April, for one of its movies. The Fast & Furious film series, i.e. the Fast Saga, has been a little more flexible with its release dates, but with the exception of Hobbs & Shaw, every movie has come out between April and June.
As noted in Deadline’s report, March could be the key to whether or not Disney and Universal truly stick to their guns on Black Widow and F9, respectively. Onward, A Quiet Place Part II and Mulan are all opening this month, and if these movies end up underperforming internationally due to the health crisis, that could be the just the incentive these studios need to move their movies out of May, which would potentially benefit them in the long run, but would be detrimental to exhibitors who were counting on these blockbusters to draw huge crowds.
For now though, Black Widow and F9 find themselves in good company with other movies that aren’t budging. Warner Bros reportedly has no plans to move Scoob! nor Wonder Woman 1984 from their respective May and June dates, and Paramount will keep The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run in its current spot too.
Set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow, the first MCU movie of Phase 4, sees Natasha Romanoff confronting a dangerous conspiracy tied back to her life as a spy. Just a few weeks later, F9 will follow Dominic Toretto and his crew as they face off against the returning Cipher and Dom’s estranged brother, Jakob, played by John Cena.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates concerning Black Widow and F9, as well as any other movies that will follow in No Time to Die’s footsteps and be pushed back on the calendar. Keep up to date with this year’s cinematic lineup with our 2020 release schedule.