Fans disappointed once by the delayed release of superhero movie Black Widow are now disappointed twice after The Walt Disney Co. again pushed back the opening on Wednesday.
Starring Scarlett Johansson, the spy thriller was scheduled to debut on November 6 and was among the last movies expected to open in 2020. But as movie theaters remain closed in many areas because of the pandemic, fans will now have to wait until May 7, 2021, according to Disney.
Fans who were anticipating the latest annual Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster had mixed reactions to the Black Widow delay.
Some, like Twitter user @KpHeaney, applauded the move, tweeting that "this is the right decision" because "there are certain films which cry to out to be seen on big screen. This is one of them."
Others saw Disney making a money play. "You would think with all what's happening they'd help the people out [and] let us stream the movies but they're money hungry, they keep on delaying movies," tweeted @RyanH1904.
A number of highly anticipated movies have been delayed in part, according to Variety, an entertainment industry news outlet, because "there's no sense of when New York and Los Angeles, the two biggest moviegoing markets in the U.S., will be able to open theaters."
Elsewhere in the U.S., AMC Entertainment and Cineworld Plc's Regal Cinemas have reopened but "haven't seen huge business," according to Variety.
Because the Marvel movie universe is interconnected, delaying Black Widow meant pushing back release dates for other Marvel offerings such as Eternals and Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Eternals is now scheduled to open on November 5, 2021, rather than February 12, 2021; Shang Chi is moving from May 7, 2021, to July 9, 2021.
Accent on safety
Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani tweeted, "There's a pandemic. Nothing is more important than health & lives. I can't tell [people] to go to a movie theater until I feel safe going to one."
Beyond the Marvel franchise, the pandemic is also delaying West Side Story, Steven Spielberg's first foray into movie musicals. Originally scheduled to open on December 18, 2020, it will now be a holiday season release on December 10, 2021.
In the meantime, film lovers can look forward to the animated Pixar movie Soul that Disney still plans to release in theaters on November 20. The Empty Man, a horror release from the former 20th Century Fox, is moving up from December to October 23.