Disney pushes back more movies to 2021 including 'Black Widow,' 'West Side Story' amid pandemic

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By RADIO.COM

Disney’s highly-anticipated movies won't be hitting the big screen anytime soon.

The company has once again delayed several of their releases in an attempt to navigate the new moviegoing reality amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Black Widow” has been postponed until May 7, 2021, more than a year after its scheduled release date.

The delay marks the first time since 2009 that a Marvel movie hasn’t been released in a calendar year, per the Verge.

The postponement of “Black Widow” shifted other installments in the franchise including “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” delayed from May 7, 2021 to July 9, 2021, and “The Eternals,” which also moved from February 12, 2021 to November 5, 2021.

In other words, if all goes as planned, 2021 will be a big year for Marvel films.

Other Disney films are also getting moved around in a sign that indicates the effects of the pandemic will be felt into the upcoming year.

“Death on the Nile,” a follow-up to 2017’s hit “Murder on the Orient Express” was pushed back from October 23, 2020 to December 18, 2020.

Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” is a year behind premiering on December 10, 2021 instead of December 18, 2020.

The decision to delay the theatrical releases isn’t surprising if you look at the lukewarm debut of “Tenet” in the U.S.

The film raked in a mere $20 million when it premiered earlier this month, as many theaters around the nation remain closed to curb the spread of the novel virus.

That’s only a sliver compared to Disney’s 2019 blockbuster profits, which stood at $13 billion.

Disney has explored different options for movie releases including a pay-to-watch model. It too was underwhelming as many consumers didn’t like the idea of spending an additional $30 on top of the monthly Disney+ subscription fee to watch the live-action remake of “Mulan.”

Both films underperformed in China as well. Despite theaters reopening, "Mulan” fell flat making $23 million during the three-day weekend, falling short of “Tenet’s” $30 million opening weekend.

Verge notes that Disney remains committed to bringing the movies to the big screen as soon as it is deemed safe, so for now, we’ll just have to put our movie plans on hold.

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