In a move that has been predicted for some time, a series of big-budget movies for 2021 has again been delayed by several months. Within hours of MGM announcing that No Time to Die has been postponed from April to October 8, it was revealed that Sony was also Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Not mapped, Cinderella, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, and Morbius.
According to a report from Variety, Cinderella starring Camila Cabello will now hit theaters on July 16 instead of February 5. That means the video game customization Not mapped starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, which was originally scheduled for mid-July, has been rescheduled to February 11, 2022. Meanwhile, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway has been pushed back two months from April 2 to June 11, while the Ghostbusters sequel has been postponed to November 11. Morbius starring Jared Leto is now being released on January 21, 2022.
Unfortunately, the current state of theaters is such that even these dates are far from set in stone. It is very likely that some if not all of these films will be postponed again if the cinemas do not open fully by the end of the year. Different studios have responded to the dire situation in different ways.
For example, WarnerMedia has decided that this is the way things will be in the near future, and as such they have chosen to put all their movies on HBO Max out at the same time as the theaters, instead of putting their movies off forever to bring.
On the other hand, Sony is sticking with a purely theatrical release for its movies, even if that means their content has been delayed for over a year now. In an interview late last year, Tony Vinciquerra, CEO of Sony, stated that their dedication to a theatrical release has made filmmakers more eager to work with them than Warner.
“The real benefit [of WarnerMedia’s new distribution strategy] has been the number of incoming talent calls to us saying, ‘We want to do business with you because we know you are a theatrical distributor and producer. That actually worked very well for us. “
The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer right now when it comes to releasing movies. A major reason why Warner decided to risk losing huge bucks at the box office with an HBO Max rollout for their movies was because the studio wants to bolster its fledgling streaming service with a rapid influx of subscribers.
Other studios, which do not have streaming channels, do not yet see a reason to opt for an online distribution strategy. Right now, the whole thing is a chicken coop of sorts, with the theater industry and studios engaged in a fierce competition against the current global medical emergency that has plagued businesses since last year. It remains to be seen who will blink first and whether the current vaccine rollout will be enough to make a difference in the near future.