They may not be afraid of no ghosts, but Sony sure is afraid of Corvid-19. What many have feared is now coming to pass. Although we are barely a week into spring, almost the entire slate of summer movies dwindled into nothingness. Hope remained around a few mid/late June releases, but word now says Sony just pulled their movies from this summer’s release dates from 2020 to 2021. This includes major titles such as Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Morbius. This may very well be a summer with no movies.

Summer With No Movies: Has Hope Gone?

I wrote in a recent article after Wonder Woman 84 pulled stakes on its summer release date that the summer slate was growing very sparse. Perhaps the two biggest releases left out there to salvage a summer were Maverick, the Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The problem now that Sony refuses to release movies for this summer is Maverick sits all alone in the month of June. A wise man would bet heavily that it too will move eventually.

For the first time in history the box office is reporting $0 from ticket sales. If this truly becomes the first summer in movie history where no movies released, it will truly be a dark time. Movies generate so much more than mere money. For many they provide a release from the real world, or inspire imaginations, or even bonding points to use around the water cooler at work.

Summer With No Movies: Why Is This Affecting Movies So Far Out?

Here we are in the fledgling days of spring. Why dos Hollywood continue to pull movies 3 months away? Several factors contribute to these decisions. First of all, as Corvid-19 continues to race across the country and world, scientists cannot say when the all-clear may be given and the world can return to normal. Many hope for the beginning of June, but that remains speculation at this point.

Secondly, what will those early days look like? How skittish will people be to be around one another once more? The movie theaters could open in June, but will they still implement the every other seating policy they tried to apply before the shut down? If so, you jsut cut the revenue in half. These blockbusters which should earn $350-600 million domestically might pull in $100-300 million instead.

Let us not forget the economic powerhouse China continues to grow into for movies. If a major motion picture fails to get a Chinese release because of the virus, there goes another huge chunk of change.

Summer With No Movies: How Do They Fix This?

empty theaters
How do they get viewers back?

The good thing is releases are not the only things being stopped. Production on the next wave of movies for late 2020 and 2021 are also stopped. The holes created by not having these latter movies ready should allow for these movies being pushed back to find easy homes. Studios will also push back the future releases a year to fit their finished products into. Tom Holland’s Uncharted movie, which seems to keep falling apart, provides a good example. It now sits in the postponed indefinitely pile until things sort themselves out.

Television may not be so lucky. We may see a lot of mid summer finales and late fall start ups on a lot of shows over the coming year. Hollywood will need to get creative. No matter which way you cut it, a summer without movies is gonna hurt.