NEW YORK (AP) – The Walt Disney Co. has further delayed its next Marvel mega-movies, including “Black Widow,” while Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” is also delayed a full year in the company’s latest overhaul due to the pandemic. .
Ten of Disney’s top films shuffled release dates Wednesday, uprooting several of the company’s major fall releases. The Scarlett Johansson Marvel movie “Black Widow,” which last took place on November 6, moves to May 7 of next year. Instead of opening next month, Kenneth Branagh’s murder mystery “Death on the Nile” is moving to December 18. That was the date for “West Side Story,” but Spielberg’s musical will instead debut in December 2021.
Disney has not completely left the season. The Pixar release “Soul” will remain on the calendar at the end of November. “The Empty Man,” a horror release from the former 20th Century Fox, will go from December to October 23.
But the delays to Disney’s upcoming blockbusters amplify the growing exodus from 2020 among the blockbusters that weren’t uprooted until next year. After lukewarm ticket sales for Warner Bros. “Tenet” in a US theatrical market where about 30% of movie theaters remain closed, Warner Bros. “Wonder Woman 1984” moved to Christmas from October and Universal Pictures “Candyman” was delayed until next year.
Given the interconnected nature of Marvel releases, the latest delay in “Black Widow” had a knock-on effect on other movies. Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” featuring Simu Liu as a martial arts hero, is now scheduled for July 9, 2021, instead of May 7. Chloé Zhao “Eternals”, with Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan and Kumail Nanjiani, is moving from February to November 5, 2021.
“Marvel has made the right and responsible decision,” Nanjiani said on Twitter. ‘There is a pandemic. Nothing is more important than health and lives. I cannot tell people to go to a movie theater until I feel safe to visit one. “
The Ben Affleck-Ana de Armas thriller “Deep Water” was also pushed from November to August next year.
Notably, Disney did not announce that movies were running to its streaming platform, Disney +. Since the start of the pandemic, the company’s “Mulan,” “Hamilton,” and “Artemis Fowl” have gone straight to streaming, with “Mulan” made available by subscribers for a $ 30 premium purchase. Disney has declined digital grosses for “Mulan,” although the live-action remake has fared poorly in theaters overseas.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP