Let's Be Honest About Movie Release Dates
The new Bond flick, No Time To Die, was supposed to hit theaters in April, then had the ignominious distinction of being one of the first movies to dodge the pandemic by moving all the way to November 25. Now it's been moved up to November 20.
Christopher Nolan's Tenet has been pushed back a couple of weeks, screwing up its intentional palindrome original release day (7/17).
Wonder Woman 1984 was pushed back six weeks.
Movies still in various stages of production are sliding around the schedule, too. The new Matrix move got pushed from Spring 2021 to Spring 2022. Godzilla vs. Kong -- from November 20 to May 2021. That's just to name a few. Studios are scrambling to place their bets, hoping theaters will be open again, and that fans will be willing to risk it to watch a movie in an actual theater for the first time since March. Are studios basing their scheduling maneuvering around secret insider info about when COVID will decide to pack it's shit and leave? Of course not. They're just guessing and may have to shift those dates around again in the near future.
With all this maneuvering, you'd think COIVD was done. The truth is, we may never get to see the dreaded Second Wave since the first one never actually left. It dipped a little, then a bunch of states opened up, thus slamming their foot on the accelerator of it's spread. States are seeing infection rates higher than the ones that got us into lockdown to begin with. Now there's talk across the U.S. that lockdowns might have to be reinstated. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases theorized that "real normality" is a year away, at least. Movie studios are planning their schedules like all this misery will be gone any day now. It makes you wonder when they'll all collectively realize the truth: the virus won't politely excuse itself so that we can watch Tenet in an IMAX theater. If they want to make any money on their investments anytime soon, video-on-demand might be their only option.
No studio wants their big blockbuster to be a vector for the virus' spread. But they're all so beholden to the theater-model of distribution that they won't risk releasing movies directly into our homes, even though it's where we all are and will be for the foreseeable future. And it's not like they'd be blazing new territory here. Trolls World Tour was slated for a theatrical release, then the pandemic hit. It went straight to VOD, where it made over $100 million. Does Warner Bros. really think we're all not going to watch a new Wonder Woman movie as we're all in the fetal position rocking back and forth in a darkened corner of our homes?
We'll eat that shit up and beg for more. So many of us are dying for some semblance of normalcy, just not so much that we're willing to leap back into our pre-pandemic routines. The solution here seems simple: studios, you've got movies that need to recoup their money, and we're all bored at home, soooo, just, like, give us the goddamn movies already. Inject them directly into my movie rental feed. You get your money; we get the temporary distractions we really need right now. Win-win.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Catch him on the "In Broad Daylight" podcast with Cracked alums Adam Tod Brown and Ian Fortey! Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. Listen to the first episode on Youtube!
Top Image: Warner Bros.