As Studios Push Early 2021 Film Releases, Are Hopes for Box Office Recovery Dashed?

“The pandemic rules are being rewritten as we go along,” Boxoffice editor Daniel Loria says

The coronavirus pandemic decimated the box office for 2020 — and now it’s looking to take a bite out of the first quarter (at least) of 2021 as well. With infections, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise in the U.S. and much of Europe — and a vaccine months away from approval and widespread distribution — Hollywood studios and movie theaters are bracing for further delays in the release of major films.

On Monday, Universal pushed back its female-led spy thriller “The 355” from January 2021 to January 2022. That follows a bunch of recent postponements for films that had hoped to open early next year: Sony pushed “Peter Rabbit 2,” already delayed from April 2020 to January 2021, to a new date three months later.  And Universal shifted the Jennifer Lopez rom-com “Marry Me” from Valentine’s weekend to May 2021.

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Jeremy Fuster

Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com