Coronavirus movie delays: New release dates for 2020 and 2021 blockbusters

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When the latest James Bond premiere was called off because of the coronavirus outbreak, it came as a shock. But that was just the first in a cascade of movie blockbusters being canceled or postponed, causing a reshuffle of the release schedule throughout 2020 and into 2021. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet cautiously reopened some theaters, but  Wonder Woman 1984 and the Candyman reboot are the latest to be disrupted. 

Delays have hit big movies including Marvel’s Black Widow, James Bond thriller No Time to DieF9, and A Quiet Place Part 2. Some big films are postponed indefinitely while others, like Disney’s Mulan and Tom Hanks thriller Greyhound, changed course for streaming services instead. The ripples will be felt throughout 2021 and beyond, as the Avatar sequels and the next Star Wars movies are all affected. We’ve laid out the revised box office calendar to show when (or if) 2020’s big movies are coming to a movie theater near you.

The health and well-being of people around the world remains the most important thing, but these movie cancellations affect more than just the balance sheets of major studios. Movie theater closures are just one sign of the disruption the coronavirus is wreaking upon people and businesses around the world. You can stream a bunch of recent releases early, but a return to the movies will signal a return to normality when we come out the other side of this strange time.

Here’s how the new release dates stack up:

Greyhound (streaming now)

Tom Hanks stars in and directs this World War II epic about a convoy of ships battling U-boats.  Apple TV Plus announced May 19 that it will premiere Greyhound on the streaming service, making this one of the biggest movies to skip theaters entirely. It’s a coup for Apple’s streaming service, which has created plenty of original content but still has some catching up to do against Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.  

Original release date: June 19, 2020

Tenet (out now)

Tenet tested the waters for theaters around the globe.


Warner Bros

When the rest of the summer blockbusters delayed, Warner Bros. held its nerve and stuck to the planned date much longer than the rest. Christopher Nolan’s time-twisting thriller therefore felt like the big hope for movie theaters desperate to reopen, but after shuffling back a couple of weeks and then moving again to August, Tenet was entirely removed from the schedule in mid-July. It finally opened internationally Aug. 26 before heading to select US theaters over the Labor Day weekend in September. But even if theaters are open, audiences are still wary of gathering, and box office receipts are likely to suffer as a result. Whether or not you want to risk it, read our spoiler-free review of Tenet or our (spoiler-packed) explanation of Tenet’s ending and most WTF questions.

Original release date: July 17, 2020

The One and Only Ivan (streaming now)

As the movie theaters pile up with blockbusters, Disney has moved some of its films from the theatrical schedule straight to streaming service Disney Plus. You can watch Artemis Fowl and The One and Only Ivan online after their theatrical releases were cancelled.  

Original release date: Aug. 14, 2020

The New Mutants (out now)

Easily one of the most troubled movies ever to limp into production, X-Men spinoff The New Mutants was originally slated to be released in 2018, and had already been moved twice when Disney’s acquisition of Fox set it back yet again. That made the fourth postponement for the teen-centric comic book chiller starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams, before a late August release date was booked in. It’s finally been released, marking a disappointing end for the X-Men movie series. 

Original release date: April 2020

Bill and Ted Face the Music (streaming now)

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter return in this long-awaited sequel, which was bumped a little up the schedule — but more importantly, at Comic-Con 2020 the filmmakers announced a day-and-date on-demand release so you can watch online even if you can’t make it to theaters. Read our review of Bill and Ted Face the Music here. Excellent!

Original release date: Aug. 21

Mulan (streaming now)

Mulan was pulled from theaters just before it was due to be released.


Disney

Disney’s live-action Mulan reboot has been something of a canary in a coalmine for spring and summer movies, as it’s been nudged incrementally up the calendar before getting an online release for an unexpected price. It was first postponed in March, less than two weeks before it was supposed to open. Disney then reshuffled its entire slate on April 3, moving Mulan to late July and then August. But as July came to an end and the theater industry still wasn’t up and running, Disney took it off schedule entirely — and then, finally, made the decision to release it on streaming service Disney Plus for an extra cost. Despite missing the big screen, the new version of Mulan for 2020 is still timely and thrilling (even without the songs).

Original release date: March 27, 2020

Antebellum (streaming now)

Janelle Monae stars in this chilling horror story about a modern woman transported to the era of slavery. Originally slated to open in April and then August, Antebellum now skips theaters for a streaming release in September. 

Original release date: April 2020

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Sept. 28/streaming Oct. 4)

David Attenborough’s latest nature documentary, made with the World Wide Fund for Nature, was postponed from its original spring release. Interestingly, it wasn’t just the cinema release that was canceled: The film was due to stream on Netflix in April, but that was suspended too. “Our decision to postpone the film release [allows] viewers to enjoy the big-screen experience,” said the WWF in an email to CNET, “as well as giving Sir David Attenborough’s message the incredible reach afforded by the Netflix platform.” The documentary was rescheduled for selected theaters in late September followed by a streaming premiere Oct. 4.

Original release date: April 16, 2020

No Time to Die (Nov. 20)

Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, directed by Cary Fukunaga and co-written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was the first major movie to delay release. No Time to Die had already lost its original director and changed its release date twice, but producers feared the closure of many theaters around the globe due to coronavirus would harm box office takings in lucrative international markets. The delay was announced March 4, a week before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The James Bond installment will now open in the UK on Nov. 12 and the US on Nov. 20 (slightly earlier than earlier announced).

Original release date: April 2020

Soul (Nov. 20)

Pixar takes you on a jazz odyssey for this musical animation, which stuck to its planned early summer release date for a while. Disney has so many films in the schedule it wasn’t clear when there’d be a new slot for Soul should theaters remain closed, but it’s now been moved to November.  

Original release date: June 19

Free Guy (Dec. 11)

Video game-themed action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds was slated for summer but will now open nearer the end of the year.

Original release date: July 3, 2020

Coming 2 America (Dec. 18)

Original release date: Unchanged

Dune (Dec. 18)

Original release date: Unchanged


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Wonder Woman 1984 (Dec. 25)

Warner Bros held out until March 24 before announcing that Wonder Woman 2 would be delayed, but as with most other blockbusters postponed it was clear the DC comics sequel would have to move from its planned June release date. Where many big movies moved much later in the year or were taken off the slate entirely, Wonder Woman 1984 originally committed to hitting theaters on Aug. 14 — which proved optimistic, and in mid-June was shifted to October and then to the holidays instead.   

Original release date: June 2020

Candyman (Unspecified date, 2021)

This horror remake directed by Nia DaCosta and written by Jordan Peele was pushed to September, but with no sign of theaters opening it was bumped to October and then into 2021.

Original release date: June 12, 2020

The French Dispatch (unspecified)

Wes Anderson returns with more idiosyncratic art-housery in The French Dispatch, starring Timothée Chalamet, Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand. Disney bumped this Fox Searchlight film to October but then in July took it off the schedule.

Original release date: July 2020

Antlers (Feb. 19, 2021)

When Disney postponed Mulan and New Mutants, it also shelved horror film Antlers, produced by Guillermo del Toro. It will now premiere online in July as part of San Diego Comic Con. The US release of The Personal History of David Copperfield has also been pushed back, as has thriller The Woman in the Window.

Original release date: April 17, 2020

Without Remorse (Feb. 26, 2021)

Michael B Jordan stars in this Tom Clancy adaptation, which has been remorselessly shuffled back to 2021.

Original release date: Sept. 18, 2020

The King’s Man (Feb. 26, 2021)

Ralph Fiennes suits up for The King’s Man, a World War I-era prequel to the Kingsman series of movies.

Original release date: Sept. 18, 2020

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (March 5, 2021)

On March 31, Sony took the decision to shift its entire slate of theatrical releases. So Jason Reitman‘s small town-set Ghostbusters resurrection is pushed from July 2020 to March 5, 2021, taking Sony’s slot that was originally intended for video game adaptation Uncharted. 

Original release date: July 10, 2020

The Many Saints of Newark (March 12, 2021)

The Many Saints of Newark is a ’60s-set prequel to classic TV series The Sopranos, in which Michael Gandolfini takes on the role of Tony Soprano made famous by his father James Gandolfini.

Original release date: Sept. 25, 2020

Raya and the Last Dragon (March 12, 2021)

Original release date: November 2020

Morbius (March 19, 2021)

As part of Sony’s big reshuffle, Jared Leto‘s Marvel vampire movie Morbius has been pushed from July to mid-March next year.

Original release date: July 31, 2020

F9 (April 2, 2021)

Starring Vin DieselJohn Cena and Charlize Theron, the ninth Fast and Furious film was due to open in May 2020. But it was one of the first to reschedule, taking the bold step of moving nearly a year to April 2021 — a date previously earmarked for the next film in the Fast Saga. There’s no word yet on when the 10th and final film will be released.

Original release date: May 2020

Bios (April 16, 2021)

Tom Hanks is the last man on Earth, hanging out with his faithful robot in this post-apocalyptic drama.

Original release date: October 2020

Monster Hunter (April 23, 2021)

Original release date: September 2020

A Quiet Place Part II (April 23, 2021)

John Krasinski directs Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy in A Quiet Place 2, a post-apocalyptic tale of a world in which noise equals death. The near-silent sequel was due to open on March 20, 2020 but with barely a week to go Paramount announced it was postponing the release to an unspecified date later in the year before it got delayed yet again. Seeing the chilling first movie in a packed theater was an important part of the experience, partly because of the tension of trying to eat your snacks very, very quietly.

Original release date: March 2020

Last Night in Soho (April 23, 2021)

Edgar Wright‘s new film is a ’60s-set horror flick starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith.

Original release date: Sept. 25, 2020

Black Widow (May 7, 2021)

screen-shot-2020-02-03-at-11-18-06-am.png

Originally scheduled for May 1, 2020, Marvel’s Black Widow has been pushed back a full year to May, 7, 2021. In March, Disney initially postponed the film to an unspecified date, then on April 3 confirmed Black Widow would debut this winter in a reshuffle of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe — including Captain Marvel, Thor, Black Panther and Doctor Strange sequels due over the next couple of years. Now it’s been postponed again

Original release date: May 1, 2020

Godzilla vs Kong (May 21, 2021)

The monster-mashing sequel had played around with its release date before the pandemic even happened. In June, Warner Bros. moved it again to avoid a pileup of new releases in November.  

Original release date: Nov. 20, 2020

Spiral (May 21, 2021)

Chris Rock re-invents the Saw franchise with horror movie Spiral.


Brooke Palmer/Lionsgate

A rebirth of the Saw franchise starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, originally slated for May. This was indefinitely postponed by Lionsgate along with Run and Antebellum before being added back to the calendar a year after its original date.

Original release date: May 15, 2020

Infinite (May 28, 2021)

Mark Wahlberg headlines the eternal story of a man who learns his hallucinations are actually visions from past lives.

Original release date: August 2020

In the Heights (June 18, 2021) 

This adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Tony-winning musical is directed by Jon M. Chu, who also helmed Crazy Rich Asians, and stars Anthony Ramos, an alum of the Broadway cast of Hamilton. 

Original release date: June 2020

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (June 25, 2021)

The sequel to the 2018 supervillain caper stars Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson as Marvel bad guys Venom and Carnage. Andy Serkis directs

Original release date: October 2020 

Top Gun: Maverick (July 2, 2021)

In April, the high-flying Tom Cruise sequel was pushed from June to December. We’ve waited over 30 years for a sequel to the original 1986 Top Gun, so what’s a few more months?

Original release date: June 2020

Uncharted (July 6, 2021)

Uncharted, starring Tom Holland, was the first of next year’s blockbusters to be officially moved. It’s bounced around the schedule a few times to March, then October, and back to July. 

Original release date: December 2020

Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings (July 9, 2021)

Marvel’s martial arts action movie starring Simu Liu as mystical fighter Shang-Chi was also reshuffled by Disney.

Release date: February 2021

The Tomorrow War (July 23, 2021)

Chris Pratt headlines this original sci-fi war film.

Original release date: Dec. 25, 2020

Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 2, 2021)

Animated sequel/spinoff Minions: The Rise of Gru has been postponed a year. It was set to be released in the US on July 3, so the delay announced on March 19 was the first sign the pandemic would disrupt the summer season.

Original release date: July 3, 2020

Jungle Cruise (July 30, 2021)

Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson take a cruise in the jungle, postponed by Disney a whole year.

Original release date: July, 2020

The Batman (Oct. 1, 2021)

Robert Pattinson dons the batsuit for this delayed DC adventure.

Original release date: June 25, 2021

Halloween Kills (Oct. 15, 2021)

This slasher sequel is in the awkward situation that the release date is sort of in the title. You can’t really bump a movie named “Halloween” to February, can you? So Universal pushed it back a whole year to 2021 — which has a knock-on effect to the planned threequel, Halloween Ends, now expected in October 2022.

Original release date: October 16, 2020

Snake Eyes (Oct. 22, 2021)

Henry Golding and Samara Weaving toy with the idea of headlining Snake Eyes, a ninja-focused spin-off from the GI Joe series of toys and movies.

Original release date: October 2020

Eternals (Nov. 5, 2021)

Marvel’s otherworldly ensemble was intended to open in November 2020, but was bumped a year to make way for Black Widow.

Original release date: Nov. 6, 2020 

Elvis Presley biopic (Nov. 5, 2021)

Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis tribute became a high-profile casualty of the pandemic when Tom Hanks, who appears in the film as Colonel Tom Parker, contracted the coronavirus. He and his wife, Rita Wilson, have now recovered, and the film will be delayed only a month.

Original release date: Oct. 1, 2021

West Side Story (Dec. 10, 2021)

Steven Spielberg‘s remake of the legendary musical was originally supposed to fill Disney’s traditional big-money  holiday movie slot, plugging the fallow year between the last Star Wars trilogy ending in 2019 and the Avatar sequels taking the slot in 2021. Instead everything’s been pushed back a year, leaving us with no big Disney family blockbuster at Christmas. 

Original release date: Dec. 18, 2020

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022)

Fans of Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, will have to wait until 2022 before entering the Multiverse of Madness thanks to Marvel’s reshuffles.

Original release date: May 2021

Avatar and Star Wars (Dec. 2022 onwards)

Christmas 2021 was supposed to see the long-awaited arrival of James Cameron’s Avatar sequel, which would be followed by a new Star Wars trilogy the following year. The two franchises would then alternate each holiday season until Avatar 5 in 2027. But as the coronavirus shoved more and more blockbusters into 2021, Disney decided in late July to shift all seven movies back a year. So Avatar 2 will arrive in 2022, Avatar 3 in 2024, Avatar 4 in 2026 and Avatar 5 in 2028. Three Star Wars movies then fill in the odd-numbered years.

Original release date: Christmas 2021 to 2027

When the latest James Bond premiere was called off because of the coronavirus outbreak, it came as a shock. But that was just the first in a cascade of movie blockbusters being canceled or postponed, causing a reshuffle of the release schedule throughout 2020 and into 2021. Christopher Nolan's Tenet cautiously reopened some theaters, but  Wonder Woman 1984 and the Candyman reboot are the latest to be disrupted. 


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Other movies

Many other movies have also been disrupted as theaters close. So far, these are just some of the other studio movies, kids’ films and indie flicks that have been affected, many of them indefinitely:

  • The Artist’s Wife
  • Blue Story
  • The Climb
  • Death on the Nile
  • Deerskin
  • Deep Water
  • First Cow
  • The Forever Purge
  • The Empty Man
  • Les Misérables
  • Malignant
  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield
  • Praise This
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Rocks
  • Run Sweetheart Run
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Truth
  • The Uncertain Kingdom
  • Vivarium (Cinema release was canceled; March 27 day-and-date online release continued as planned.)
  • Wicked
  • The Woman in the Window

Film festivals

The legendary Cannes film festival was called off March 19. Originally scheduled to open May 12, the year’s most prestigious industry gathering was postponed as part of France’s measures to combat the virus.  

The SXSW conference was also canceled, devastating filmmakers who hoped to reach press and distributors at the event in Austin, Texas. Films that were scheduled to premiere at the annual film, music and tech event included The 24th, a scathing historical drama from the Oscar-winning co-writer of BlacKkKlansman, Kevin Willmott.

New York’s Tribeca Film Festival also was canceled. As with all major events undone by coronavirus, cancelations will have a knock-on effect on local businesses and employees.

Upcoming movies

Filming on assorted forthcoming productions has been interrupted: Mission: Impossible 7 was unable to shoot in virus-hit Venice, for example, while Baz Luhrmann‘s biopic of Elvis Presley was disrupted when Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson revealed they’d tested positive for COVID-19. Indiana Jones 5, Jurassic World 3, The Batman, The Matrix 4, Fantastic Beasts 3, Avatar 2 and many more have been disrupted.

Netflix, Apple, Disney and other streaming services have been forced to pause production on shows from Stranger Things and The Morning Show to Marvel spin-off Falcon and Winter Soldier.

Here’s a list of major events canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

CNET’s Abrar Al-Heeti contributed to this report.

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