The immediate future of the theatrical industry remains unclear, and we won’t get a true indication of how far away things are from returning to normal until a major studio blockbuster is released. Wonder Woman 1984 may have debuted less than three weeks ago, but the DCEU sequel arrived simultaneously on HBO Max and drew record numbers, which is why the domestic box office gross is currently sitting at a paltry $32 million.
Internationally, things aren’t looking great, either, with Gal Gadot’s second outing as the title heroine still short of the $100 million mark. As it stands, the first big budget title of 2021 is set to be prequel The King’s Man, which is still scheduled for March 12th. Of course, Morbius was going to arrive the following weekend before Sony delayed it yesterday for another eight months, presenting the very real threat of the Coronavirus domino effect starting all over again.
At the moment, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Widow is still on course for May 7th, a full year after it was first slated to hit the big screen. Phase Four will already be in full swing by then thanks to Disney Plus exclusives WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but in a new interview, Kevin Feige admitted that confidence is meaningless when trying to predict if Scarlett Johansson’s farewell will release as planned.
“I mean, confidence is meaningless in today’s world because nobody knows anything. Hope springs eternal. A year delay, you hope would be enough, there’s a vaccine out there now. We’ll see. I certainly hope so. I want to be back in the theater with people. We have the pleasure and the privilege of working with the greatest marketing department in the history of Hollywood, so restarting that campaign, any of those campaigns, I have great confidence in. What I don’t have confidence in is the timing because we’re dealing with this whole pandemic.”
Of course, there’s been no shortage of speculation that Black Widow could follow the Mulan route and head straight to Disney Plus Premier Access, and the next couple of months are going to be pivotal in determining whether or not 2021 is going to be another total write-off for theaters, or if business can rebound to any sort of substantial degree.