Obviously, coronavirus has caused some major upheaval to the world, and we hope that everyone can remain safe and healthy. Covering our silly little beat of movie news, we’ve seen how the pandemic has already canceled the SXSW Film Festival and delayed the new Bond movie, No Time to Die, until November. Now another film will be pushed back due to the virus.
THR reports that Sony has decided to delay the family film Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway until August 7th. The film was slated to open on April 3rd, but it will now open August 7th worldwide. Keep in mind that right now cinemas are closed in China and Italy as well as some in France and Slovakia. That international box office matters since the first Peter Rabbit made $236 million of its $351 million worldwide gross from theaters outside the U.S.
Of course the ripple effect here is to look how this affects movie theaters. Theaters were already in a tricky spot with the rise of streaming and shortened release windows, and now they’re facing an April that no longer has two of its biggest titles. It remains to be seen how many other studios blink in the face of coronavirus. Obviously, they’re taking this one month at a time, but unless the virus magically disappears in the next few weeks, we could see May titles pushed back. And then June titles pushed back. I’m also curious to see if some studios try to cut their losses and see if they can sell a title to a streamer like Netflix or Amazon.
In the meantime, be sure to wash your hands, try not to touch your face, and if you’re feeling ill, stay home if possible.