This week saw a flurry of release date changes from major studios. The lynchpin came Thursday when MGM and United Artists announced that the upcoming James Bond blockbuster No Time to Die would vacate its April 2nd Easter weekend slot in favor of a “safer” bet in the Fall on October 8th, Columbus Day weekend.
The lingering COVID crisis is wreaking havoc on the industry’s best-laid plans to begin recovery at the box office in 2021. This is the third time that No Time to Die has been moved and just as before, it was followed quickly by a slew of release changes, with studios announcing postponements for Peter Rabbit 2, Cinderella, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Uncharted, A Quiet Place Part II and The King’s Man. Somewhat ironically, the films that appear most likely to hold to their upcoming theatrical release dates are from Warner Bros. and Universal, studios that were widely criticized last year when they announced plans to release their features on streaming at the same time or shortly after their theatrical release.
See also: Comment: the US studios can’t keep pushing back theatrical release dates (Screen Daily)