Is Sony’s Slate Change a Sign Studios Are Preparing to Write Off the Summer Box Office?

Hollywood might not want to send in tentpole blockbusters even if movie theaters reopen

Sony’s decision on Monday to change the release dates of seven of their upcoming movies is the first sign that major Hollywood studios may be preparing to write off this summer movie season — even if the coronavirus pandemic subsides enough for movie theaters to reopen in the next few months.

Three of Sony’s biggest 2020 tentpoles, “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway,” “Morbius” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” have been moved to the first quarter of 2021, with “Morbius” taking the spot of “Uncharted,” a franchise-launching action film with Tom Holland that had yet to start filming when the pandemic shut down all new productions. In addition, the Tom Hanks WWII film “Greyhound,” which was slated for release in June, is now indefinitely postponed. Such a move reflects what many box office analysts and distribution executives had told TheWrap in the past few weeks would be a likely post-coronavirus strategy: move summer releases into release slots held by films that won’t be ready by Christmas or by next spring.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • • Twitter: @jeremyfuster