The recent announcement that another two of this year’s big movies–Dune and No Time To Die–were moving to 2021 might not have been surprising, but it did feel like the final confirmation that 2020 was dead in terms of blockbuster entertainment. At the time of writing, Pixar’s Soul and DC’s Wonder Woman 1984 are still set for November and December releases, but there’s every chance that they will move into 2021 as well.
The impact of almost every major movie scheduled since March being delayed has been huge. With very few films left to show for many months, Cineworld, the world’s second-biggest theater chain and the owners of Regal Theaters in the US, has decided to temporarily shut all its US and UK sites. AMC, the world’s biggest chain, is staying open for now, but the titles it will be screening over the winter are a lot lower in profile than we’d expect in any normal year.
When the first few movies were delayed back in March, there was every expectation that we’d still see them in 2020. No Time To Die and A Quiet Place: Part II shifted from the spring to the fall; at that stage only F9: The Fast Saga was moved all the way into 2021, a decision which seemed dramatic at the time. And while a few other films also jumped back an entire year (Jungle Cruise, Halloween Kills), the predominant pattern initially was spring and early summer movies moving by a few months. Black Widow, Candyman, The New Mutants, Soul, and Wonder Woman 1984 were all delayed, but stayed on course for 2020.