For once, it’s not Thanos threatening the Marvel Universe. Following the underwhelming performance of Mulan on the Disney+ platform and select movie markets open for business, in particular China, there are whispers that Disney/Marvel may once again delay Black Widow, the solo superhero movie meant to kick off the next chapter in the Marvel movie franchise. But doing so may throw the rest of the MCU in flux.
What Happened? — On Tuesday, Variety reported “multiple individuals” close to Black Widow expect the movie to delay once again, to an unspecified date in the future. As of now, Black Widow is meant to open in theaters on November 6. It was previously scheduled for May 1.
The continued spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has proved difficult for both movie theaters and movie studios. Despite the resurgence of drive-in theaters and efforts to open at half capacity, nothing has allowed Hollywood to regain its financial health; in August 2020, it was reported that AMC Theaters, the world’s largest theater chain, lost $561 million in Q3 2020 due to shutdowns in observance of Covid-19. That’s on top of the two billion loss AMC suffered in July.
Mulan, the $200 million blockbuster remake of the 1998 animated musical, opened in China to the measly tune of $23 million. Even amidst adjusted expectations for 2020, the film under-performed expectations to open in the ballpark of $30-$40 million. Tenet, the latest science fiction blockbuster from auteur Christopher Nolan and Disney rival Warner Bros., opened at $30 million a week prior. And even that success is being looked at as an ominous sign of the worse yet to come.