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Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

Staying In and Looking Forward



Social Distancing: My Favorite Sport, and Now it's "In" -- by Guy S. Malone, Researcher

Spending most of my time in FilmZ's dungeon does have its perks: I am less likely to get (or spread) COVID-19, and I am less likely to come into contact with people, in general.  Win-win. 

And soon I will get the opportunity to see the few good films that are out there because they will be right in here (dungeon) with me. With major movie chains shutting their doors, and small Indie theaters reluctantly doing the same,  the studios frantically search for options to hedge their losses, and their plan could change the landscape for the future of film distribution.  Monumental stuff, eh?

But the plan, for now, is to reschedule most upcoming films for later in the year.  All this and more below.

Films Currently in Theaters Soon to be Released to Video on Demand

Studios have decided to move up Video on Demand (VOD) release dates. Forsaking the usual practice of waiting 90 days between a film's theatrical release and availability on home video, movies currently in theaters including Emma, The Invisible Man, Birds of Prey, and The Hunt will be available to home audiences as soon as Friday, March 20.  Rentals will be Purchase-on-Demand at $19.99 for 48 hours, in most cases, and already some are squawking about usurious pricing (typical rental usually high-end at $5.99).  But let's look at it: figuring someone goes to the movie with at least one friend or family member; the cost of two tickets and gas to get there and home would already exceed that.

And for parents desperately seeking ways to entertain little ones home on a surprise school break, the Trolls World Tour will be released to home video on April 10.  This is the date it was initially planned for theatrical release.

Other popular titles available now or coming to VOD sooner than planned include the Greta Gerwig's delightful Little Women, the manic comedy Jumanji: The Next Level, and the final episode of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Two Limited Series to Watch

In timing with the coronavirus self-quarantines two interesting movie-style limited series arrive. Hulu has released the first three episodes of its new show Little Fires Everywhere.  The eight-part limited series is based on the runaway bestseller by Celeste Ng.  And HBO just opened a limited series, The Plot Against America, based on Philip Roth's acclaimed 2004 alternate history novel.

Here is a list of recent and upcoming released to VOD

March 3
Queen & Slim
The Furies
Dark Waters

March 6
Run This Town
Swallow
Escape from Pretoria

March 10
Bombshell
Charlie's Angels
Little Women
Spies in Disguise

March 13
Ride Like a Girl
Lost Transmission
Tuscaloosa

March 17
Jumanji: The Next Level
Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss
Richard Jewell
Black Christmas

March 20
Human Capital
Hooking Up

March 24
The Song of Names
The Grudge
1917
Clemency
Birds of Prey
The Gentlemen
Just Mercy

March 27
Resistance
Banana Split
Vivarium

March 31
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The Current War

Upcoming Releases Up in the Air

As to upcoming film scheduled for release, everything is on hold, awaiting developments in the current health crisis in the theater.

In critical news, we'll have to wait and see what happens to Scarlett Johanssen in Black Widow.  Disney has announced that it is postponing the blockbuster, scheduled for May 1.  It is doing the same with Dev Patel's comedy-drama The Personal History of David Copperfield (May 8), and Amy Adams in the film treatment of A.J.Finn's best-seller The Woman in the Window (May 15). No new release dates have been announced yet.

With new directives coming out of the CDC almost daily, studios have set some new release dates for late this year or even into 2021 while others are waiting for further developments, most significantly, where Black Widow lands.  Few films want to compete with that monster--or any films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The Eternals is due to be released in November, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision coming to Disney+ in 2020 

It's also worth mentioning that many films in pre-production or early production have stopped altogether because of the unpredictability of the length and effects of the pandemic.  That will also bring a slew of incoming release dates and further reshuffling.

Here is what we know as of now.

Mission: Impossible 7: Filming halted in Venice because of the devastation in Italy.

No Time to Die: James Bond stirs and shakes from April to November.

Fast & Furious 9: Races forward from this May until April 2021.

A Quiet Place Part II: Originally late March, now TBA.

The Lovebirds: Romantic action-comedy with Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae from April 3, now TBA

The French Dispatch: Wes Anderson's newest is scheduled for July 24 and is in a holding pattern

The major player these days: Disney has halted production on all its live-action films in development, including:

The Little Mermaid: with Halle Bailey as the lead

The Last Duel: Ridley Scott's newest with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

Nightmare Alley: Guillermo del Toro's latest

Movies in post-production that were assigned release dates have been pushed back:

Mulan: had rave reviews in its Hollywood premiere was supposed to open March 27, is now TBA.

The New Mutants: The X-Men update was set for April 3, but is now TBA

Antlers: The Keri Russell horror was to open April 17 is now TBA.

Military Wives: Supposedly from March 27 to May 22--we'll see about that

Pulled from Release Schedule:

Antebellum: was supposed to be Janelle MonĂ¡e's breakout starrer

Run: Sarah Paulson thriller

Spiral: The Saw reboot starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson was to open May 15

We will update as developments come in.



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