Today In Superhero Movie History: BLACK WIDOW Was Set To Kick Off Its Opening Weekend In Theaters
We're not heading too far back into the past today, as we're looking at Marvel's Black Widow, which was supposed to arrive in theaters today before being sidelined by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic...
By now, you should have read our Black Widow review, taken a look through a few spoiler-filled features, and probably even watched the movie yourself during a Thursday evening screening. Unfortunately, none of those things have happened as it hasn't arrived in theaters today (May 1st) as planned.
In the final week of March, rumours started swirling that the first Phase 4 release might be unable to debut in theaters, but it was on April 3rd that the news was made official. The entire slate was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with theaters forced to close in response to world events, it was an inevitability that we wouldn't see it on May 1st (even though, at the time, some believed life might be back to normal by now after a few weeks of lockdown measures).
Disney moved the Scarlett Johansson-led blockbuster to November 6th, 2020, the release date for Eternals (which has now been pushed to next February, taking the place of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings). There were rumblings it could head straight to VOD platforms, or maybe even Disney+, but the response to Universal heading down the Digital route with Trolls World Tour from exhibitors confirms that probably won't happen. Now, there's only one Marvel Studios movie officially scheduled for this year, and with the fate of TV shows like The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and WandaVision uncertain, things are looking quiet for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2020.
So, will Black Widow be released in November? Long range tracking indicated a $90 million - $130 million opening weekend, and that likely would have increased had Marvel Studios been able to continue promoting it as planned. Social distancing measures are going to remain in place across the globe, and even if theaters do re-open, they will be limited capacity - not to mention the fact that some people simply will be too scared to visit them. As a result, those numbers are going to PLUMMET.
That's also bound to change how Black Widow's premiere is handled, and if nothing else, that release window is going to significantly narrow. However, if we're hit by a second peak of COVID-19 cases, the movie is either going to be pushed into next year, or Disney will have to forego a theatrical run altogether. We're living in uncertain times, and Hollywood is unlikely to ever be the same again.
Stay safe, and stay tuned to CBM for more on Black Widow.