Disney has decided to delay the release of Marvel Studios’ Black Widow following the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Black Widow was originally scheduled to be released on May 1st. There is no new date for the movie. Black Widow follows New Mutants, Mulan, and Antlers, which Disney delayed last week. Black Widow was supposed to kick off the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and was planned to be the first big film in the franchise following Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Over the last few weeks, several blockbuster movies have faced lengthy delays because of coronavirus. No Time to Die, the new James Bond movie, will now be released in November. Universal set the release date of F9 back a full year. Movie theater chains, including AMC and Regal, have also decided to close their doors. AMC’s closure could last up to 12 weeks.
Amid the pandemic, some studios including Universal and Warner Bros. have brought a number of titles to VOD (iTunes and Amazon) earlier than expected. This may continue (Disney could bring Onward to VOD, for example), but don’t expect any of the biggest titles to get the same treatment. Black Widow, Mulan, and F9 could easily do $1 billion globally, making their theatrical releases important to the studios.