With Sony, Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros. already beginning to look at rescheduling their delayed 2020 films to later this year and into 2021, all eyes turned to Disney and what its new schedule might look like. And considering one study owns about 40% of the annual box office, that’s a lot of anticipation for fans and exhibitors wondering when they may make money. While we’ll cover all the changes in another article, the biggest news is probably how Marvel Studios is going to be affected by the recent delay of “Black Widow.” Thankfully, it appears that the higher-ups have decided to do the most logical thing by shifting the dates.
According to THR, Marvel Studios will now release “Black Widow” on November 6, which is the date formerly occupied by “Eternals.” With that move, the rest of the Phase 4 lineup, up until 2022 shifts, with “Eternals” taking February 12, 2021, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” taking the prime May 7, 2021 slot, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” occupying the November 5, 2021 date, and “Thor: Love & Thunder” shifting to February 28, 2022.
One film that isn’t affected by this shift is “Black Panther 2,” which is holding onto its May 8, 2022 date. However, Disney also used this time to announce the official release date for “Captain Marvel 2” is now July 8, 2022, just two months after Ryan Coogler’s sequel. Both of those films made well north of $1 billion when they were released, in 2018 and 2019, respectively. So, it’ll be interesting to see how the close proximity might affect the box office totals.
Even though the release date shuffle is easy to understand, it’s still a bit shocking in one respect— ‘Shang Chi.’ No offense to filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton and star Simu Liu, but the May date is where Marvel Studios is most comfortable releasing its yearly heavy hitters. In years past, the studio used that frame to release “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017), “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018), and last year’s “Avengers: Endgame.” There were even fans concerned that the upcoming “Black Widow” isn’t a big enough event to warrant that release date. So, it’ll be interesting to see how Marvel Studios sets up ‘Shang-Chi,’ a film about a superhero martial artist, to usher in the richest season for films.
However, for now, we can finally anticipate the release of “Black Widow” in November, when we all hope that the world will get back to relative normalcy and we can once again freak out over the newest Marvel Studios film.