• Hollywood Report
  • Martin Grove

MGM Says Sayonara to Respect in January

Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin in MGM/UA Releasing's RESPECT

Hollywood continues to pull the rug out from under exhibitors’ feet with non-stop release schedule changes that show little concern for theatres’ future.

Every case is different, of course, and a mid-pandemic delay that makes sense for a $200M+ Bond episode like NO TIME TO DIE doesn’t seem equally logical for a less costly original bio-drama. So the news that MGM/UAR’s RESPECT with Jennifer Hudson (pictured) as Aretha Franklin has been pushed to 8/13/21 is confusing.

The musical about the Queen of Soul was supposed to open wide 1/15/21 for the 4-day Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday weekend. This was such a relevant release date for RESPECT that it’s hard to understand booting it to mid-August when moviegoers are more likely to be going to beach parties or barbecues. There’s already speculation that a PVOD deal for RESPECT could be done long before 8/13.

But MLK weekend should still be a magnet for moviegoers. Universal/ FilmNation’s female kick-ass spy thriller THE 355 will draw action audiences. Sony/MRC’s animated PETER RABBIT 2 will be a family destination. WB/NL’s action fantasy reboot MORTAL KOMBAT will draw mostly male video gamers.

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