Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
Tenet is back on the calendar, with a non-traditional release schedule that will see the film hitting theaters overseas first before coming to the U.S. for Labor Day weekend. Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller, from Warner Bros., will debut internationally starting on Aug. 26 before opening in select cities in the U.S. on Sept. 3. Major national theater chains like AMC and Regal will be ready, with new U.S. reopening dates set for mid-August. (Variety, Deadline)
Speaking of Tenet, Imax employees were the lucky few to get a first look at the blockbuster on the big screen in a movie theater, and their reaction was, “Oh my God – I forgot how great it was to be in a movie.” According to Imax CEO Rich Gelfond, “Tenet is just a beautifully filmed, beautifully made, wonderful movie.” Employees reported that, “Once you sit down and the movie begins, it feels like it always has. It was a fun, immersive experience.” (Deadline)
If you’ve been waiting to see Russell Crowe commit random acts of road rage, you’ll finally get your chance. Solstice Studios has announced that Unhinged will open wide on August 21, making it the first new wide release to open in theaters since the shutdowns back in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “We know that theaters won’t be open in every city or county when we launch. However, we anticipate that the vast majority of movie theaters will be open and ready to meet what nationwide polls consistently show is substantial pent-up audience demand to see new movies in theaters…Moviegoers have expressed a clear desire to return to theaters this summer (80% say they will definitely attend), while making it equally clear that they want the experience to be both comfortable and safe. Our partners in exhibition have answered this call by employing advanced sterilization and filtration methods, social distanced seating, no touch payment systems, and many other measures to prioritize safety over all else. Without their thorough commitment to safety, we would not be proceeding.” (JoBlo)
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) also highlighted audiences’ desire to get back to the theater experience, announcing that moviegoers have sent more than 200,000 letters to Congress in support of legislative relief measures for cinemas hard hit by COVID-19. NATO’s #SaveYourCinema campaign asked movie patrons to urge Congress to enact the Restart Act to give aid to movie theaters, legit theaters, live music venues, performing artists, restaurants, recreational businesses, and health and fitness clubs.(Variety)
Disney made a few big release date adjustments in the last week, temporarily pulling Mulan from the studio’s calendar and delaying its Avatar sequels and Star Wars movies by a year. Avatar 2 has moved out of 2021 and on to December 16, 2022, Avatar 3 is now set for December 20, 2024), Avatar 4 for Dec.ember 18, 2026) and Avatar 5 for December 22, 2028). The new trio of Star Wars movies will now debut around Christmas every other year starting in 2023, with the first of three films launching on December 22, 2023, and two follow-ups hitting theaters December 19, 2025, and December 17, 2027. (Variety)
The New Mutants now becomes the first wide release from Disney to welcome back movie audiences on August 28, 2020, and fans finally got a 2-minute glimpse of the film this week as director Josh Boone and his team showed off the explosive opening of his horror-themed approach to Marvel’s mutant population at Comic-Con@Home. (The Wrap, AV Club)
Paramount is also shifting a couple of its titles. A Quiet Place Part 2 starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt will now release in theaters on April 23, 2021, instead of September 6, 2020. And the long-awaited Top Gun: Maverick sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1986 classic will take flight on July 2, 2021, nearly six months after its original date of December 23, 2020. The move was partially due to scheduling conflicts for Cruise, who will now be in the middle of filming the next two Mission: Impossible movies in December due to COVID-19 production delays. By postponing Maverick until the following summer, it frees up Cruise to embark on one of his trademark global promotional campaigns to tout the movie and his death-defying stunts. (Variety)
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced key dates for the 78th annual Golden Globes. The ceremony, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, will be held on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021 — pushed back almost two months from its annual early January date due to uncertainties from the coronavirus pandemic. It’s not clear yet if the awards show will be held in person, or if actors will be able to campaign as they normally do by appearing at schmoozy press conferences with HFPA voters. (Variety)
Issa Rae and Jordan Peele have come on board for Universal Pictures’ family drama Sinkhole, based on Leyna Krow’s short story about a mysterious sinkhole. It centers on a young family knowingly moving into a house with a sinkhole in the backyard and discovering that the sinkhole manages to take all things that are broken and destroyed and make them perfect again. Rae will star and produce along with Montrel McKay and Sara Rastogi for Issa Rae Productions. Peele and Win Rosenfeld will produce for their Monkeypaw Productions. (Variety)
Focus Features has finalized a worldwide deal on James Gray’s Armageddon Time, the coming-of-age film written and set to be directed by Gray, led by Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Donald Sutherland, Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett. Gray based the drama on his childhood experiences set in a pre-Reagan era America. Production is set to begin in 2021 in New York. (Deadline)
There was new news about Thor: Love and Thunder this week, as Thor 4 director Taika Waititi and star Natalie Portman shared some updates for Marvel fans. According to Portman, she’ll shooting the movie in Australia at the beginning of 2021, and Waititi noted that the script is “so insane” and “also very romantic.” It’s been a year since the film was officially announced at Comic-Con 2019, when we learned Portman would be returning to the MCU as Jane Foster and would likely be taking on the Thor mantle. Thor favorites Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will be back as Thor and Valkyrie, respectively, and Christian Bale will play the villain. Thor: Love and Thunder is currently scheduled for release on March 25, 2022. (Collider)
Studios continue to move premiere dates around to ensure moviegoers have a lot to look forward to when theaters reopen, including the following shifts to the film slate announced this week:
- Unhinged (July 31, 2020 to August 21, 2020)
- Tenet (August 7, 2020 to September 3, 2020 in the U.S.)
- The War with Grandpa (September 18, 2020)
- Antlers (April 17, 2020 to February 19, 2021)
- A Quiet Place Part 2 (Sept. 6, 2020 to April 23, 2021)
- Samaritan (December 12. 2020 to June 4, 2021)
- Top Gun: Maverick (Dec. 23, 2020 to July 2, 2021)
- Stillwater (November 6, 2020 to TBD)
As always, stay tuned to our friends at Noovie for all the latest film release updates in real time!
For a full schedule of all upcoming movies, check out Box Office Mojo’s Domestic Release Calendar.
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