The fate of midnight releases and the future of movie theaters stands on shaky ground as the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the means of socialization and entertainment as we know it. Due to the plummet in revenue, theaters have started to close their doors, and films have been released by VOD instead.
For filmmakers, especially for big names in cinema, it’s a difficult time. James Gunn, known for the Guardians of the Galaxy series, is currently gearing up for his first-ever DC Entertainment film, The Suicide Squad. The film is currently undergoing its editing from remote locations, which will allow it to hit the bullseye on its August 2021 release. Unlike other DC films, such as Wonder Woman 1984 and The Batman, The Suicide Squad has been left unscathed when moving release dates.
A good number of films that had been planned for a theatrical release, such as The King of Staten Island, Trolls: World Tour, and Artemis Fowl have opted for a VOD release instead. For other films, the pandemic doesn’t seem to scare them off, and they still will shoot to open in theaters. After being asked a question on his Instagram about the interference of his next big releases, which includes Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3, the director doesn’t seem too worried.
With The Suicide Squad being cast out over a year away from its expected release date, and Guardians 3 still shying away from announcing a release date, it seems that Gunn can sleep at night without worrying too much.
Films that have chosen to release VOD are still eager to release a theatrical run as well. Wonder Woman 1984 is firm in its footing to release on the big screen, and Marvel’s Black Widow is too stubborn and won’t settle for a Disney+ release. It’s far too early to foresee what will happen with the future of films, and how entertainment media will be perceived, but until then, a Plan B has been secured by Gunn.
Story by Annie Banks