As it seems less and less likely that theaters will be reopening in August (AMC has already pulled the plug.) and COVID-19 will have abated, studios are once again pushing back their release dates and upending their long-term plans. Tenet kicked off the major delays, but now Disney has moved a chunk of its major releases back along with Paramount. Mulan, the Avatar sequels, more Star Wars, A Quiet Place Part II, and Top Gun: Maverick were all hit.
To begin, Mulan has abandoned its Aug. 21 spot and now has no release date as studios appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach with this round of delays. That marks the fourth time the film has been delayed after initially planning to land on March 27. This probably does not mean that the film will go digital, but Disney did state that it will “assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world.” Most likely that means some sort of staggered international release as China’s theaters open.
Disney also did some long-term rescheduling as COVID-19 production issues continue and release schedules change. They will now be staggering the upcoming Avatar sequels and Star Wars film every other year, providing them major holiday releases between 2022 and 2028. The Avatar sequels will now land Dec. 16, 2022, Dec. 20, 2024, Dec. 18, 2026, Dec. 22, 2028. On the other in-between years, Disney will release unknown Star Wars films on Dec. 22, 2023, Dec. 19, 2025, and Dec. 17, 2027.
Paramount also got in on the delaying action, pushing back A Quiet Place Part II and Top Gun: Maverick from their slots, which were both later in 2020, showing the studios fear that the effects of COVID-19 on the world will be here for quite some time. A Quiet Place Part II, originally slated for March 20, 2020, will move from September 2020 to April 23, 2021. Meanwhile, Top Gun is jumping six months from Dec. 23, 2020 to July 2, 2021.
As a final note, the Comic-Con@Home panel for The New Mutants happened yesterday, and the film has held its release date of Aug. 28 but sadly did not receive a surprise digital release. For fans hoping to see the unlucky movie soon, things do not seem bright.