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Disney shuffles release dates, delays ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Eternals’

Black Widow Marvel
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in “Black Widow.” (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)

It’s official: 2020 will be the first year since 2009 without a Marvel movie hitting the big screen.

After initially having both “Black Widow” and “Eternals” on the schedule for this year, Disney finally decided to push “Black Widow” from its Nov. 6 release date to May 7, 2021, due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. “Eternals” had already previously been delayed to Feb. 12, 2021, but has now shifted again to Nov. 5, 2021.

Turns out the interwoven nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is both a blessing as a curse, because when one film is delayed, the whole slate is affected. The upcoming “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” previously held the May 7, 2021 release date, but has now been bumped to July 9, 2021.

While some studios are attempting to pretend things are going swimmingly and moviegoers should return to theaters, the box office numbers from Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” say otherwise. The espionage thriller opened to just $20 million at the domestic box office, and in the three weeks since has only managed to earn about $16 million more. Worldwide “Tenet” has grossed $251,100,000.

Marvel films weren’t the only ones delayed by the House of Mouse on Wednesday, though. Here’s a full look at Disney’s new schedule:

  • “The Empty Man” moved up from Dec. 4, 2020 to Oct. 23
  • “Death on the Nile” delayed from Oct. 23, 2020 to Dec. 18, 2020
  • “The King’s Man” moved up from Feb. 26, 2021 to Feb. 12, 2021
  • “Black Widow” delayed from Nov. 6, 2020 to May 7, 2021.
  • “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” delayed from May 7, 2021 to July 9, 2021.
  • “Deep Water” delayed from Nov. 13, 2020 to Aug. 13, 2021.
  • “Eternals” delayed from Feb. 12, 2021 to Nov. 5, 2021.
  • “West Side Story” delayed from Dec. 18, 2020 to Dec. 10, 2021.

If there’s any bright side to be found in Wednesday’s news, it’s that Pixar’s “Soul” is staying put – for now – with its Nov. 20, 2020 theatrical release date, and 20th Century’s “Free Guy” is still locked in to release on Dec. 11, 2020. We’ll see how long those stay put.

Zach Goins View All

Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Charlotte, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.

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