‘Black Widow’ Release Pulled Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Rebecca Rubin

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Disney’s “Black Widow” is the latest tentpole to shift its release date because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Marvel superhero adventure, starring Scarlett Johansson, was slated to hit theaters on May 1. The studio also pulled the Dev Patel-led drama “The Personal History of David Copperfield” from its Searchlight banner and Amy Adams’ “The Woman in the Window,” a 20th Century title, which were supposed to debut on May 8 and April 15, respectively. It’s unclear when any of the films will be released.

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Disney has already delayed “Mulan,” “The New Mutants” and “Antlers,” but held off on postponing “Black Widow” in the hopes that it wouldn’t have to scrap another big film. But the move was inevitable since movie theaters in multiple states, including New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, have been ordered to close. Only AMC Theatres has given a timeline on how long its locations might be closed, estimating six to 12 weeks for venues nationwide.

Multiple studios have pulled movies in wake of the coronavirus crisis, including Universal’s “Fast & Furious” entry “F9,” MGM’s James Bond installment “No Time to Die” and Paramount’s “A Quiet Place 2.”

Theaters across North America aren’t entirely shuttered yet, but exhibitors expect that could happen soon. Multiplexes in China, Japan, Italy and other areas greatly impacted by the novel virus have seen mass closures, resulting in billions of dollars in lost revenues. On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that public gatherings involving more than 50 people be called off for the next eight weeks.

While an exact budget for “Black Widow” has not been revealed, Marvel movies typically cost somewhere between $150 million and $200 million. In addition to Johansson, “Black Widow” also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone and Rachel Weisz. It was directed by Cate Shortland, and follows Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff in the events after “Captain America: Civil War.”

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