The mother studio of franchise pics, Disney, made some release date changes today which further underscores studios’ planning that the summer box office season starts later than sooner. With Artemis Fowl, originally on Memorial Day weekend, heading to Disney+, and Universal’s Candyman now on Sept. 25, Disney/Pixar’s Soul is left standing at the expected first pic of summer.
First off, despite the nonsensical fanboy rumors last weekend that Black Widow and Mulan were headed to Disney+, that’s indeed not the case, and they’re staying put in theaters. Mulan, which is already a locked print having had its world premiere in Hollywood earlier this month, will open on July 24, sending Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s Jungle Cruise, which was on that date to July 30, 2021. Remember, given the halting of feature production in the world out of safety from COVID-19, 2021 is going to need movies.
Just like we forecasted after MGM’s No Time to Die moved to November, Black Widow is taking over Eternals’ Nov. 6 slot, which is setting off an even Marvel pic chain reaction whereby Eternals moves to Feb. 12, 2021 (Shang-Chi’s old date); Shang-Chi moves to May 7, 2021 (Doctor Strange 2’s old date); Doctor Strange 2 moves to Nov. 5, 2021 (Thor: Love and Thunder’s old date), Thor: Love And Thunder moves to Feb. 18, 2022 which was a spot for an untitled Marvel pic. Black Panther 2 remains on May 8, 2022 and Captain Marvel 2 is now set for July 8, 2022, which Disney already RSVPed for an untitled live action pic. That release date change ease with the Marvel movies comes from Disney having control over key juggernaut dates on the calendar.
And as far as this morning’s other big shocker: Kenneth Branagh’s Artemis Fowl heading to Disney+. Much like Universal’s in-home event experiment with Trolls World Tour, it appears a similar plan is in effect for this feature adaptation of the Eoin Colfer book. With Disney largely in the event franchise brand business, Artemis Fowl, like Wrinkle in Time before it may have seemed a risky play at theaters, especially in a future unpredictable environment.
Other big changes from the Burbank, CA studio:
20th Century Studios’ Ryan Reynolds comedy Free Guy goes from July 3 to Dec. 11. Current December releases from Disney/20th include Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, both pics’ respective dates remain unchanged on Dec. 18 and Dec. 25 (limited).
Wes Anderson’s The Fresh Dispatch from Searchlight goes from July 24 to Oct. 16.
Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones 5, which is still locking down a deal with new director James Mangold, goes from July 9, 2021 to July 29, 2022.
Searchlight’s The Personal History of David Copperfield and Antlers, and 20th’s Woman in the Window, and The New Mutants remain undated at this time with release dates to be announced soon.
Summer’s wide release calendar now appears as follows.
The King of Staten Island (Uni)
Free Guy (20th/Dis)
Untitled Purge (Uni)
Bob’s Burgers (20th/Dis)
Come Play (Focus)
SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run (Par)
Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar (LG)
Empty Man (20th/Dis)
Wonder Woman 1984 (WB)
The One and Only Ivan (Dis)
Let Him Go (Foc)
Bill & Ted Face the Music (UAR)
Untitled Fred Hampton project (WB)
Hitman’s Bodyguard Part 2 (LG)
Sept 4 – Labor Day weekend
The Beatles: Get Back (Dis)
Monster Hunter (Sony)
A Quiet Place Part II (Par)