Despite coronavirus concerns across the globe, Disney is apparently drawing a line in the sand when it comes to the release date for Marvel Studios’ Black Widow.
According to Deadline, the news comes hot on the heels of the decision by MGM to push back the release of the new James Bond film No Time to Die. The 25th Bond movie was originally slated for release on April 10but has since been pushed until November.
The situation with coronavirus overseas has led to a major decrease in revenue from the international box office thanks to movie theaters shutting down to prevent further spreading of the disease. Even in markets where theaters are open, people still don’t want to go to public spaces over fears of potentially catching the virus.
More importantly, this has caused a giant backlog of unreleased films to begin growing. Upon the theaters reopening, schedulers in markets such as China will have to find ways to squeeze in big releases.
Marvel Studios films have been consistently huge hits in the overseas markets. 2019’s Captain Marvel took in an astonishing $456.7 million globally in its opening weekend, with 35 percent of that coming from Asian.
If the foreign theaters are not open again by the May 1 release date, Black Widow could easily lose upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars, and even if they are, an overcrowded schedule could still spell less revenue for the film. Releasing Black Widow outside of May could see similar losses domestically, as May begins the summer box office that could easily springboard a film into the billion-dollar range. However, the foreign markets could still recoup those losses if the film were to be released after the outbreak.
Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena Belova, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, O-T Fagbenle as Rick Mason and Rachel Weisz as Melina. The film arrives in theaters May 1.