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Coronavirus Kent: As cinemas close our film writer looks at the blockbusters being delayed

Cinemas have joined theatres and other venues announcing closures across Kent amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Cineworld in Ashford, Rochester and Dover; Picturehouse in Ashford have both announced that they are closing their doors, along with Vue which has venues in Thanet and Bromley and Odeon, which has sites in Maidstone, Chatham, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells.

The cinema world is being affected by the outbreak
The cinema world is being affected by the outbreak

As film fans are forced to reach for the remote instead, our cinema writer, Mike Shaw, gives us the latest on some big blockbusters we may have to wait a little longer for:

I can live with a hand sanitiser shortage; I can deal with bog roll panic buying; I can manage having to stay home for two weeks.

But Bond getting postponed? Now the coronavirus has gone too far!

Spring is typically the beginning of blockbuster season, but some of this year’s biggest movies are being postponed because of Covid-19.

As social distancing and enforced curfews increase around the world, cinema audience numbers are plummeting. Films aren’t making the money studios had planned for, so they’re pushing back release dates.

The thinking is, if they leave it until later in 2020 (or even 2021), the coronavirus crisis will be over, and people will be ready and able to gather in groups again. Here are some of the UK movie releases affected… so far:

The sequel to A Quiet Place has been delayed
The sequel to A Quiet Place has been delayed

A Quiet Place Part II

Original release date: March 19

New release date: TBC

John Krasinski’s largely dialogue-free film A Quiet Place was a surprise hit when it was released in 2018 (it’s just landed on Netflix if you haven’t seen it yet). Part II was supposed to be with us next week but is now being held back until the public can suffer extreme anxiety en-masse.

Mulan
Mulan

Mulan

Original release date: March 27

New release date: TBC

When Covid-19 was an issue confined mainly to China, Disney announced it would delay the live-action remake of Mulan in that key market. A few short weeks later, and that delay has been extended to the whole world. There’s no suggestion on when it might be rescheduled for.

Peter Rabbit 2 has been postponed
Peter Rabbit 2 has been postponed

Peter Rabbit 2

Original release date: March 27

New release date: August 7

The first Peter Rabbit wasn’t great, but kids were excited about this sequel.

After initially being set for a seasonably-appropriate Easter (ish) release, the film has now moved to the summer. Right now, I’m not convinced we’ll be out of the woods by August, but maybe movie execs have the inside track on pandemic infection rates.

The latest Bond film has been postponed Picture\: Nicola Dove ©2019 DANJAQ, LLC and MGM.
The latest Bond film has been postponed Picture\: Nicola Dove ©2019 DANJAQ, LLC and MGM.

No Time To Die

Original release date: April 2

New release date: 12 November

The Bond PR machine has been cranking up since before Christmas, so this postponement is a massive deal. Producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced a delay of seven months just a few weeksbefore the global release. The film is being released here on November 12, and November 25 in the US, so we still get a decent headstart over America.

Fast and Furious 9
Fast and Furious 9

Fast & Furious 9

Original release date: May 22

New release date: April 2021

Not only has Fast & Furious 9 (or Fast 9, or F9) been moved back, it’s been delayed by nearly a whole year! The date it’s now planned for was originally reserved for its follow-up, Fast 10.

Considering that part of the long-running franchise hasn’t been shot yet, and factoring in that coronavirus is also affecting production around the world, that could be a big consideration in F9’s significant delay.

The New Mutants

Original release date: April 3

New release date: TBC

Even before Covid-19, The New Mutants was long-delayed.

Now the evil space virus has had its way, Josh Boone’s X-Men spin-off is long-long-delayed. For a long time we weren’t sure if the film would get a theatrical launch, or just end up on Disney+. For now, the studio seems set on a proper cinema release. When that might be, though, is yet to be announced.

The Secret Garden

Original release date: April 3

New release date: August 14

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel was given a shot of magical-realism by director Marc Munden, and I was looking forward to taking the kids over the Easter holidays. Now the film has been moved to mid-August, which means it faces has the same threat as Peter Rabbit 2 - a second postponement.

Please stay safe out there, everyone.

For the latest news on events and venues across Kent affected by the outbreak click here.

To find out what’s going on in the county and for all the latest entertainment news click here.

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