Last week, the Sundance Film Festival announced that it would no longer hold in-person screenings at its upcoming event opening on January 20th. Faced with the rapid rise of COVID cases nationwide, the festival’s organizers had struggled valiantly to maintain in-person screenings in their Park City, Utah home. But alas, all festival screenings will now take place online for the second year in a row.
Now that Sundance has gone virtual and Sony has pushed back the opening of MORBIUS from 1/28 to 4/1, those anxious observers of the movie business are turning their attention to the next key events on the global film calendar. The Berlin Film Festival is scheduled to begin on 2/10 as a traditional, in-person event. At the end of the week, the organizers of the film market element of the festival announced that it would now be held as a virtual marketplace. Some expect that it’s only a matter of time until the in-person festival is also reconstituted as a virtual event, as it was last year. On the other hand, Warner Bros.’ 3/4 release of THE BATMAN is expected to hold, since most expect that the rapid upturn in COVID infections due to Omicron will drop down just as quickly, resulting in a return to somewhat normal times in February, well in advance of THE BATMAN’s premiere.
See also: ‘Morbius’: Sony Pushes Release Date For Jared Leto’s Marvel Film (Deadline)