Black Widow finally blinked again.
Per Variety, the film has once again decamped from its May release date to July 9, the date formerly held by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. That film will bow on September 3rd. Eternals will, presumably, remain in the November slot for now with Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home due in September.
It remains to be seen if the changes will affect the release pattern of Disney+’s Marvel Studios television shows. Previously, Loki delayed to June so Black Widow could get the focus of Marvel’s energies.
But in one interesting twist, Black Widow will arrive on Disney+ July 9 via the Premier Access paid tier. The film will cost $30 to watch from the safety of home. Shang-Chi and Eternals will be exclusive to theaters. For the moment, anyways.
Additionally, the upcoming Pixar film Luca will premier on Disney June 18th at no extra cost to subscribers while 20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man moves its theatrical release to December 22nd. The following 20th films are also moving: Free Guy to August 13th; Deep Water to January 14th, 2022; and Death on the Nile to February 11, 2022.
Black Widow was holding the line in terms of tentpole releases returning to theaters this summer. But with Disney needing to start a marketing push, hard choices had to be made. This means the summer blockbuster season will not begin until sometime in June or July depending on who wants to be the canary. In theory, theaters will be operating at 50% capacity by then. But with COVID cases slowly on the rise again, worries of a third and fourth wave may defeat Black Widow again.