Last week, MGM and Universal made the difficult decision to postpone the release of the latest James Bond movie, No Time To Do. Due to the current situation with the coronavirus the film has been pushed back from April to November.
Today, Sony Pictures has made the decision to postpone the release of Peter Rabbit 2 for the same reason. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie – a sequel to 2018’s Peter Rabbit – was due to hit cinemas this month, but will now not arrive until August.
Moving a film is not something a movie studio takes likely, especially when that film has been heavily advertised and due in cinemas in a matter of weeks (in time for Easter). However, Sony has made this move due to the continued uncertainty regarding cinema attendance.
While cinemas remain open in the UK, and at present there is no word on if they will close (I’m not trying to scare anyone), cinemas in Italy and China have been shut – and this has an impact on the box office. In fact, this weekend saw the debut of Disney/Pixar’s new movie, Onward, and while it did decent business ($39 million during its opening weekend), it performed lower than expected.
There is a fear that if studios put out movies at present, that audiences will not show up. And while many continue to press forward – with Disney making it clear that Mulan is still set to arrive this month – it is something which appears to be being judged on a case-by-case basis.