Well who of us back in March thought that Kung Flu would have delayed the release of summer 2020 blockbusters as we reported HERE. At present August 12th is set for the release of Tenet but recent reports suggest that the film may need to make $800m to break even and with the cinemas still not open to full capacity or in some countries just not open at all …..well its brave studio that is going to open a $200m blockbuster in a few weeks time. Kung Flu is certainly rampant in the US with California having shut down most of its cinemas again and its why the studio may wait for the US to catch up with the rest of the world in containing the disease before Tenet has an international release. More bad news for Tenet is that China only wants films that o their own CV-19 restrictions they only want films of less than 2 hours showing- Tenet has a running time of 2 hours and 39 minutes!
…….and just as we finished writing that sentence news has just broken that Warners has postponed the release of Tenet indefinitely.
But now we’re hearing that the Bond film No Time to Die which was the first summer blockbuster to be moved by what many thought was an excessive 7 months to November may not be long enough. Market analysts suggest that it is now unlikely cinemas will reopen for the rest of 2020. Universal are apparently actively considering the possibility of pushing the film back again to a Summer 2021 release. $30 million was lost on the April 2020 marketing campaign and another 90 day push back and possible lost marketing costs is unlikely. With the studio’s ”Jurassic World: Dominion” recently restarting its shoot after a three month delay and now under a slower production and post-production timetable its hard to see it meet its June 2021 release date….so ideally No Time To Die will occupy the slot.
An analyst believes that many cinemas won’t be able to fully re-open until next year dismissing claims that social distancing requirements will significantly lessen by late 2020 going as far as to say, “We have now extended that timeline out to at least mid-2021; the situation remains very fluid, and we do not rule out the possibility that the impact could last even longer… ‘
That would be bad news for the cinema chains and quite how they will survive is difficult to see but for the studios it points to streaming and PVOD launches for major films being the only option left.