It's an odd sign of our times that the one of the first moments where the potential impact of Coronavirus really became real was not one of the days in which we watched the outbreak slowly get worse in China, but rather the day No Time To Die was postponed. After all, it takes a lot to make a company put a potential billion-dollar project completely on ice, and when the news dropped, all of a sudden, it felt a little more like the entire world had a situation on its hands that even 007 himself couldn't get us out of.
Since then, the film industry has been awash with news about films having their release dates and premieres temporarily shelved. With cinema audiences dwindling and potential box office takings doing so in the process, COVID-19 presents perhaps the biggest financial challenge to the movie industry seen since the 2008 GFC.
But with some studios opting instead to bite the bullet and instead release their planned new titles in an on-demand format, the next few months of pop culture releases is now more confusing than ever before. These are the films affected so far, and when you should expect to be able to see them.
No Time To Die
The film that set the ball rolling, No Time To Die still remains potentially the biggest film of the year. However it was also the first domino to fall, with Universal and Eon Productions announcing that the release of the film would be pushed back six months to allow cinema audiences to recover. It's now scheduled to hit theatres on November 20.
Trolls World Tour
Stacked with an all-star cast including Justin Timberlake and Anderson .Paak, Trolls was supposed to be Dreamworks' major kid-friendly smash to kick off the year. Unfortunately, its April 17 release has now been canned altogether, with Universal instead opting to drop it on demand on April 10.
A Quiet Place 2
The most recent casualty of the outbreak, the much-anticipated horror-thriller sequel was pushed back at the last minute, barely a week before it was due to arrive in cinemas. "One of the things I'm most proud of is that people have said our movie is one you have to see together. Well due to the ever-changing circumstances of what's going on in the world around us, now is clearly not the time to do that," said director John Krasinski.
Also slated for a blockbuster box office opening this month, Disney's Mulan has had its March 27th drop postponed, no doubt largely in part to the issues still facing the nation of China where Disney plan the film will make make squillions. Even initial acclaim from the film's preview screenings weren't enough to save it, and a new release date is yet to be announced.
The New Mutants
The ever-cursed X-men spin-off has, of course, also fallen victim to COVID, with its long-awaited April release date pushed back indefinitely. Lord knows if we'll ever actually see it.
The Invisible Man
Another Universal project that the studio is banking on finding success in the on-demand platform, the Elisabeth Moss-starring horror film, which has already released in cinemas, will also reportedly get an on-demand release to help the film recoup its lost audience. Here, it'll be joined by other Universal projects in the form of Emma and The Hunt.
One of the more horrifying cinematic prospects of 2020, scare-seekers will unfortunately have to wait for the Guillermo Del Toro-produced Antlers. No new release date has been set.