Coronavirus In, Theatres Out

Like every single soul on this planet knows, we are currently amid a global pandemic with the Coronavirus. Shelves are empty, we are running low on toilet paper and hand sanitizer because if there’s one thing humanity excels at, it’s overbuying. People are either suggested or forced to go into quarantine meaning staying at home with little to no contact to the outside world till this entire thing blows over, this is to limit the virus being shared by the public. Because of the virus itself and the fact that entire countries are enforcing people to go into quarantine, Hollywood is coming to a grinding halt as it waits for audiences to be able to go the multiplex and share the experience together, not to mention giving every single penny they can.

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The Hollywood schedule for March, April and May included big movies like Mulan, A Quiet Place Part II, Black Widow, No Time To Die, Fast 9,  The New Mutants, Trolls World Tour and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. All of these releases have either been rescheduled or postponed until it’s safe to go to the cinema. This is very rare for Hollywood to do, I can’t even remember the last time this was done if it was even done before. I think it’s safe to say that most of us depend on entertainment as a source of escapism from the real world which often gives us things to worry or stress about so it’s very interesting to me that during a global pandemic, going to the cinema to turn your brain off for two hours and relax isn’t an option anymore. This will force audiences to get their source of entertainment from other places. Luckily we live in an age where there is a surplus of content with mega streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ which offer more content than one can hope to watch in a lifetime. This being said, what will happen to these releases?

While Fast 9, No Time To Die and the Peter Rabbit sequel have new release dates, the new Bond mission is slated for November where interestingly enough the last entry in the franchise, Spectre opened as well. The latter was supposed to open around Easter however it will now be opening in August. As for Fast 9, Universal made sure to put in a safe spot by delaying it till April 2021, almost an entire year after its original release date. The highly-anticipated Black Widow, Mulan and A Quiet Place Part II have been postponed without a new release date leaving fans wondering when they will ever hit theatres. The same goes for The New Mutants which has been moved not once but four times. With the virus getting increasingly worse over in the United States, the next big blockbuster to hit the big screen will be Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th which I can already see moving another month or so. That being said if these movies do keep getting delayed, should they just drop on streaming? That is the question that is haunting every studio in Hollywood as they figure out what to do with their planned releases.

Hollywood is constantly moving from one big release to the other, they plan huge franchise entries for every season especially the fall and holiday movie season. To release every postponed movie in the second half of 2020 wouldn’t really be a wise decision mainly because not every movie should be moved. I can definitely see A Quiet Place Part II looking for an October release because of its genre and I know for a fact that Mulan and Black Widow will debut cinematically since those movies are known for being successful at the box-office. However, movies like The New Mutants, Peter Rabbit 2 and The Lovebirds aren’t going to attract as many people as those movies will. To delay them only for them not to perform well isn’t really a risk worth taking. When people will return to theatres, they won’t return for a rom-com or a niche horror comic-book movie, they’ll return for an event.

Some movies might not even survive even if they will get eventually get released. Audiences want to see something that’s fresh and new, something to experience for the first time with a crowd. For example, if The New Mutants does somehow get released theatrically, I highly doubt it will have a major audience backing it up, especially if it has competition and the rest of 2020 is looking super busy. Movies like these can definitely be put on streaming and in fact, some of them are. Universal is releasing three of its current releases on streaming this Friday, those three being The Invisible Man, Emma and The Hunt. People can pay $19.99 to rent these movies for 48 hours in the comfort of their own home. They will also be releasing Trolls World Tour on its original release date for streaming as well on April 10. More recent releases like Just Mercy and Birds of Prey are also hitting streaming devices in the coming weeks.

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The question you need to ask yourself now is, should you wait to watch a movie like Black Widow or Mulan on the big screen with an audience or do you want to pay $20 every time you want to rewatch them if they are available to stream without the experience of being in a theatre. On my end, I’m really happy this is happening for some of these movies but personally, I’d rather experience A Quiet Place Part II with an audience than at home even if that means I’ll have to wait a couple more months to get that.

What do you think, do you prefer streaming or waiting and going to the theatre to experience these movies? 


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