Deadline reports that the mother studio of franchise pics, Disney, made some release date changes today which further underscores studios’ planning that the summer box office season starts later than sooner. With Artemis Fowl, originally on Memorial Day weekend, heading to Disney+, and Universal’s Candyman now on Sept. 25, Disney/Pixar’s Soul is left standing as the expected first pic of summer.
First off, Black Widow and Mulan are NOT headed to Disney+, and they’re staying put in theaters. Mulan, which is already a locked print having had its world premiere in Hollywood earlier this month, will open on July 24, sending Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s Jungle Cruise, which was on that date, to July 30, 2021. Remember, given the halting of feature production in the world out of safety from COVID-19, 2021 is going to need movies.
Black Widow is taking over Eternals’ Nov. 6 slot, which is setting off an even Marvel pic chain reaction whereby Eternals moves to Feb. 12, 2021 (Shang-Chi’s old date); Shang-Chi moves to May 7, 2021 (Doctor Strange 2’s old date); Doctor Strange 2 moves to Nov. 5, 2021 (Thor: Love and Thunder’s old date), Thor: Love And Thunder moves to Feb. 18, 2022 which was a spot for an untitled Marvel pic. Black Panther 2 remains on May 8, 2022 and Captain Marvel 2 is now set for July 8, 2022, which Disney already RSVPed for an untitled live action pic. That release date change ease with the Marvel movies comes from Disney having control over key juggernaut dates on the calendar.