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Disney announced Thursday it is once again pushing back the release of 20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man, this time from Sept. 18 to Feb. 26, 2021.
The move comes as theaters in California and New York remained closed amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic even as cinemas across much of the rest of the country reopen.
The King’s Men franchise is a priority for Disney, which inherited the series when taking over 20th Century Fox. The adult-skewing movies have always done particularly well on both coasts.
The latest installment is directed by Matthew Vaughn, and is a prequel. The ensemble cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou and Charles Dance.
The movie’s delay isn’t necessarily a surprise, considering there has been little marketing for the film in recent days. Still, it isn’t great news for cinema owners, who are depending upon new product as they flip on the lights. Disney already took Mulan off the late August calendar and will instead debut the live-action adventure on premium VOD in the U.S. and other select markets.
The only tentpole determined to stick to its late summer or early fall release is Christopher Nolan Tenet, which Warner Bros. rolls out overseas this weekend and in select U.S. cities over Labor Day weekend.
Disney isn’t leaving theaters entirely bereft. This weekend, 20th Century’s The New Mutants opens in more than 2,400 reopened theaters, while Searchlight’s The Personal History of David Copperfield debuts in more than 1,300 locations.
Like other companies, Disney will continue to evaluate its release calendar on a picture-by-picture basis as studios assess what the appetite for moviegoing is as theaters reopen.
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