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Marvel’s first big MCU Phase 4 movie might be delayed again

Published Sep 11th, 2020 2:00PM EDT
Black Widow Release Date
Image: Marvel

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  • The first Marvel movie in MCU Phase 4 is Black Widow, which should have been released on May 1st.
  • The coronavirus pandemic forced Disney to postpone the launch to November 6th, and a second delay might be imminent.
  • A report said a few days ago that Warner was looking at a new date for its Wonder Woman sequel and was considering November slots as well, but only if Disney postponed Black Widow again.
  • Meanwhile, Warner postponed Wonder Woman 1984 to December 25th. 

There’s absolutely no reason to go to a movie theater right now no matter how much you miss it, and no matter how safe theater owners might claim it is. Even if everyone observes social distancing and face mask rules, you’d still have to spend more than two hours in the same indoor space with others while they remove their masks to eat and drink. That goes double if your community is still battling a large COVID-19 outbreak. You risk exposure to the virus and no film in the world is worth it. Studios are well aware of that, and some of them are already making plans to delay their biggest blockbusters a second or third time. Included on that list is Black Widow, Disney’s first Marvel movie from MCU Phase 4 that was initially supposed to be released on May 1st. Disney delayed it to November 6th, and now it looks like the launch date might be moved a second time.

Warner Bros. is looking for a new launch date for Wonder Woman 1984, which currently has an October 2nd release date. A Deadline report said a few days ago the studio was looking at the best possible dates that would allow it to make the most amount of cash without having to face off with other blockbusters. November was on that list, and that’s because Disney apparently might push back Black Widow yet again to sometime next year.

There is a possibility we could see Wonder Woman 1984 going somewhere in November — yes, November. There are whispers, and Disney would not confirm today, that its Marvel movie Black Widow could move from its November 6 release date. If it does, Wonder Woman 1984 could land there, which would put it back in a first November weekend spot that at one point the studio wanted to own in 2019. There’s also the Wednesday before Thanksgiving open, though many believe it would be tentpole suicide if the Patty Jenkins-directed move comes anywhere near Black Widow and MGM’s James Bond movie No Time to Die (November 20) on the calendar, given the danger of cannibalizing audiences.

Warner Bros. has made up its mind since then, Variety reported on Friday. The sequel was pushed back more than two months, to December 25th. The report also indicates that Disney’s Marvel movie is the “next major film on calendars,” for now.

Warner can’t be happy with Tenet’s performance at the box office so far, and the Wonder Woman delay will give the film more time to shine in theaters. The Christopher Nolan movie made just $20.2 million over 11 days. The novel coronavirus pandemic is still raging in various markets, and people aren’t ready to return to cinemas. Nor should they until it’s safe to do so.

Disney said it was “very pleased” with the online-only Mulan release, without relaying any hard numbers. Variety estimated a few weeks ago that the film would need to attract some 8.4 million rentals — which would be about 13.8% of Disney+ subscribers — in order to earn back the budget via PVOD alone.

Now that Warner has announced the new release date for Wonder Woman 1984, it’s clear that the studio did not want to wait around to see whether or not Black Widow is delayed again. Warner is clearly hoping that if Disney does decide to push the film’s release once again, it won’t end up landing in December.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.