Late summer and early fall was supposed to be the big return to movie theaters. But with the Delta variant on the rise, Hollywood is in a tough spot. Studios have to decide to put their big movies in theaters, knowing not as many people will come, or sell films to a streaming service and lose out on box office revenue.
Sony had already moved the release date of its “Venom” sequel, and just shifted it again, from September to October. With “Hotel Transylvania 4,” Sony dropped the theatrical release altogether and sold it to Amazon for streaming.
One film to keep an eye on is “No Time to Die,” the newest James Bond film. MGM pushed the release date multiple times throughout 2020, and now it’s scheduled to come out Oct 8, 2021, in the U.S. It’s possible the studio will push it again if case numbers continue to rise, but at some point MGM will just have to release the film because there are major marketing costs that come into play every time the release date is changed.
In some ways, the continued hesitancy to go to the movies makes WarnerMedia look smart in deciding to stream all its 2021 films on HBO Max the same day they open in theaters. However, the studio has faced heavy costs for going that route as well, especially with a movie like “Reminiscence,” which opens this weekend. Based on all the bad reviews, the film likely would have been a flop, but the studio still had to pay star Hugh Jackman as if it had been a hit.
On the music side, the industry has found itself divided over the best course of action to take for fall concerts.
Major concert promoters Live Nation and AEG recently announced they will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to attend shows beginning October 1.
But for other smaller promoters and artists, masks or vaccine requirements may vary depending on the state, performer and venue.
While certain big outdoor music events, including Lollapalooza, have managed to prevent any major spikes in case numbers, some artists have decided performing live isn’t worth the risk right now. Garth Brooks canceled his tour for the rest of the year.