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October 7, 2020 - As cinemas around the world struggle to remain open due to Covid-19 restrictions, movie studios are continually having to shift release dates forwards, mostly into 2021 and beyond.
Movie studios are scrambling to move swathes of upcoming film releases in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic and resulting cinema closures.
Many smaller movies have gone ahead with limited theatrical releases and video-on-demand debuts, but the larger, vastly more expensive tentpole pictures are mostly being moved into 2021 or 2022, when hopefully large ticket-buying audiences can once again see them. If cinemas still exist.
However, it's currently not looking too good for the cinema business. In the United States, AMC, the nation's largest theatre chain, has announced it will shut down permanently in six months. Regal, the second-largest chain, will close its doors on October 9, possibly never to open them again. In the UK, its sister chain, Cineworld, is also shutting down.
The only blockbuster movie left slated with a 2020 release date is Wonder Woman 1984, with a December 25 Christmas Day release date still pencilled in. Although, rumours abound that Warner Bros will release Wonder Woman 1984 in theatres and to streaming at same time, believing the cinema business to be all but dead.
The future of Hollywood film distribution may very well lie in the hands of streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+.