Disney has announced they will delay Black Widow to 2021

As many speculated, Disney is delaying Black Widow to 2021. The company is continuing to work through the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the delays the pandemic caused particularly production of several highly anticipated films. This marks the first time since 2009 that a Marvel film hasn’t been released in a calendar year.

Black Widow’s  new release date is slated for May 7th, 2021. That is more than one year after the film was supposed to be released in theaters. This creates a domino effect for other film released. Now, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will also be pushed back from its May 7th, 2021 release date. The new release date for that film is slated to be July 9th, 2021.

In addition, The Eternals, which was supposed to follow Black Widow is moving from February 12th, 2021 to November 5th, 2021. West Side Story and The King’s Man have also been moved around.

Black Widow follows in Wonder Woman 1984’s footsteps, which Warner Bros. delayed to December 25th from an October 2nd release date in hopes that more theaters would be open and audiences more likely to go.

Disney’s chief financial officer, Christine McCarthy, told a group gathered at the Bank of America Virtual 2020 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference last week that the company is “very pleased” with Mulan’s direct to Disney+ performance. This could mean more films go that route should the shutdowns continue.

Related: Black Widow Release Pushed, What It Means For Marvel Universe

Until movie goers are gung ho to head back to theaters in big numbers, Disney is going to have to figure out which of its films it wants to save for theatrical releases in 2021 and which ones can go direct to Disney+.

“We’ve got a pretty robust slate through 2021,” McCarthy said, as reported by Deadline. “We hope theaters are open, and we hope our films are films that for the people who choose to go to movie theaters, the experience of going to a theater is very different from what you would have at home.”

“In general, if you look at that research, you’ll generally see that older people are less likely,” McCarthy said, talking about who is more likely to go back to theaters. “Probably younger people — the same people who are doing things we see on the news shows that they probably shouldn’t be doing, and crowding and partying — they’re probably more likely to go to a theater. But would a family with young kids go? Probably not.”

Related: Disney Announces Updates To Marvel Movie Releases Over Next Few Years

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