Sony is not going to charge ahead with any big releases until the coast is relatively clear. While Warner Bros. and Disney have both tested the waters by releasing big titles New Mutants and Tenet into the limited theaters that have reopened, Sony has decided to hold back until they can open things as widely as possible. In other words, we might have to wait a little longer to see Tom Hardy climb into a lobster tank again for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Studios are still trying to figure out how to handle releasing movies into a world ravaged by coronavirus. The virus has not gone away, and here in the United States, there doesn’t appear to be any real plan other than “wait and see.” For months, Warner Bros. grappled with how to deal with Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s latest cerebral blockbuster. The studio eventually settled on opening it overseas first before releasing it where they could in the U.S. last week. This apparently didn’t go so well, and reports indicate the film reportedly only made $10 million during its opening weekend, which is really not great for a big Nolan movie.
And Sony has clearly taken note. During Bank of America’s 2020 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference (via The Wrap), Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tony Vinciquerra said: “What we won’t do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie out in the market unless we’re sure that theaters are open and operating at significant capacity.”
I’ve already seen a few publications spinning this to make it sound like Sony is doing this out of the goodness of their hearts as we all await a vaccine, but really, Sony is simply saying: “We’re not releasing a damn thing unless we know it’s going to make a lot of money.” And I’m not faulting them for that – the movie business is a business after all.
Vinciquerra added: “You’ll see a lot of strange things happen over the next six months in how films are released, how they’re scheduled, how they’re marketed, but once we get back to normal, we will have learned a lot I think and found ways to do things that are somewhat different and hopefully better.”
Part of the upcoming Sony slate includes the animated film Connected, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Morbius, and Venom: Let Their Be Carnage. As of now, Connected is the only movie still holding on to its 2020 release date of October 23. If Sony really doesn’t want to put something out right now that won’t make the most money, don’t be surprised if the Connected date changes.
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