Due to the COV-19 outbreak across the globe, television shows and movies have all come to a screeching halt.
Production on popular shows like “The Ellen Show” and “Stranger Things” have been paused, and blockbuster movies like “Mulan” and “Fast and Furious 9” have delayed their release date.
While most movie studios that have announced they’re pushing back a film’s release date have not given a specific timetable, Universal has already announced that “Fast and Furious 9” is now set to release in April of 2021.
This is 11 months after its initial release date of May 22. While it is a bold and saddening move by Universal to push the release back nearly a year, they’re giving themselves plenty of time and staking a claim to that month.
So, why is it so important to pick a specific date right now? The domino effect.
You may not have noticed this in the past, but movies come out at specific times for specific reasons.
The busiest time of the year is “Summer Blockbuster Season” that lasts from about late spring until the end of summer.
Critically acclaimed films typically come out during “Oscar season,” which happens from late fall and early winter until the year ends.
Those other times of the year are typically saved for smaller films that a movie doesn’t think will do as well at the box office. There are of course exceptions like the latest “Star Wars” trilogy all being released just before Christmas.
Everyone in the industry is aware of this unwritten rule and knows the risks of opening during a bad time of the year, or too close to another blockbuster.
This year’s first major summer blockbuster is Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow.” Disney has not yet budged on the May 5release date.
As a devoted Marvel follower, I can tell you that they are methodical when it comes to their movies’ release dates.
The film a studio thinks can make the most movie comes out in early May, one they’re confident in but don’t trust comes out earlier in the year around March, one they hope will be a success but haven’t tested the water with will be released in the Fall.
This year “Black Widow” is in their “breadwinner” slot, and so far the Coronavirus has not made them budge.
As of right now, this seems like a really bad idea, but I understand why they’re holding out hope.
Every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe builds on top of the next, Disney can’t simply push “Black Widow” back to next April as Universal did with “Fast and Furious 9.”
They already have their next seven movies announced and precisely placed throughout the next few years.
Disney, I have a solution, release the movies on Disney+.
I’m not sure if they recognize it or not, but Disney already gave themselves the solution to this problem back in November when they launched Disney+.
It’s this simple, go ahead and release the movie in theaters, and whoever is brave enough to go, will go, but also release it on Disney+ for a premium price.
It can also act as an “Unlock” button on the app where you can now see that “Black Widow” is available on Disney+ but you have to pay $30 to 40 for access.
The price will have to be well higher than an average movie ticket in order to gain comparable revenue to a normal theatrical release.
It may not be ideal for the company of the fan, but these aren’t ideal times.
If Marvel Studios really cares so much about sticking to the plan, then they should allow fans who don’t feel safe going out to a theater to have access to the film from home.
They’ve given themselves the opportunity to go to plan B, but also keep the ship on course.
For the rest of the movies and TV, I’m afraid these are dark times. Production will be backed up leading to later release dates and leaving fans foaming at the mouth for new content.
2021 was already going to be a crowded year with movies like “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “The Batman.”
But now with all the delays it could be overflowing and lead to different studios cannibalizing each other at the box office.
Only time will tell how bad this situation will become but remember to wash your hands, stay at home and keep re-watching “Avengers: Infinity War” until you start rooting for Thanos.