It has been a trying year for most industries. Hollywood especially wasn’t able to produce any new films or shows. At the same time, none of the current releases were going to be available in cinemas due to the lockdown. Even as Tenet tried to reignite cinemas worldwide, it hasn’t been an easy path as numbers are still rising. The pandemic has changed quite a lot, and uncertainty is still the biggest challenge for many. Most production studies are forced to continuously delay their films, halt productions or just outright cancel them.
They are doing their best to keep productions going while also ensure their crew’s safety. Jurassic World: Dominion was the first to test out the necessary safety precautions. Even Sony is having trouble with the current situation. Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tony Vinciquerra confirmed at a conference that they are taking a more cautious approach.
What we won’t do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie out in the market unless we’re sure that theaters are open and operating at significant capacity.
The statement makes sense. Tenet was an expensive production that only pulled in $20.1 million in its opening weekend in the States. Internationally it made around $150 million, which is nowhere near what the film needs to make to even break-even. Most films pull in most of their income within the opening weekend, so it will be difficult to say if the movie will even make its money back. Sony’s decision makes sense from a production standpoint as Morbius and Ghostbusters: Afterlife has all been postponed into 2021.
This could also affect Spider-Man 3′s December release. With the constant delays, 2021 will be a crowded market. Most big releases will end up cannibalizing each other. So, it is difficult to say if most films next year will even manage to break even, similar to what Tenet is facing. So, it is likely that the next MCU installment of the popular webhead will be postponed into 2022. They haven’t even started production, so it would be difficult to rush out production by then. Especially if you consider that they could still face random delays if COVID numbers spike.
To some degree, I believe that most production companies are accepting the loss that is 2020. So, as Sony is doing, the focus is to minimize the damage so future productions aren’t affected negatively. We will see how long this delay strategy will last. It would seem realistic that films like Spider-Man 3 slated for 2021 will also be delayed. To be honest, Marvel Studios had the best approach. They simply just pushed every production back so they aren’t constantly juggling new release dates. Only question remains if Black Widow will still keep its November release.