Today Disney announced that they were shifting some of their releases around. Most of the news is not concerned with the MCU, with the biggest news surrounding Indiana Jones 5, Star Wars Episode IX, and some animated properties. One date, however, that moved was the Marvel placeholder for a film in 2020. Originally Marvel Studios had staked out July 10, 2020, but now will release a film August 7, 2020.
Let the rumormill begin: UNTITLED MARVEL drops 8/7/20 instead of 7/10/20.
— Exhibitor Relations (@ERCboxoffice)
Now, this isn’t gigantic news because no one knows what movie is positioned to be in that slot. One could hypothesize what it could be (and many are) but no one knows for sure. Thus far Marvel has put placeholders on that date, May 1, 2020, and November 6, 2020. Phase Four is supposed to kick off on July 5, 2019 with the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. Many have guessed that a sequel to Doctor Strange might come around in November of 2019, but no date has been claimed by Disney yet. (Yes, it seems kind of silly that studios call “dibs” five years ahead of time for films they don’t even have titles for, but that’s modern Hollywood.) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been announced and should be an early Phase 4 film.
The window this untitled Marvel film has moved into is interesting. Generally speaking, Marvel has used four different windows. The first week of May is used for their biggest blockbuster films. An early July date has hosted many of the more comedic Marvel movies, including both Ant-Man and Spider-Man films. November has hosted more other-worldly fantasy type movies, like Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange, and Thor: The Dark World. The final category would be “everything else.” Black Panther and Captain Marvel will be experiments in releasing during the first quarter of a year. Guardians of the Galaxy is the only previous Marvel film to release in August. (Suicide Squad released at a similar time.) If the release date means anything, it would suggest that Marvel will launch a new property on that date, as almost every film in the “everything else” category has been a new IP. All that said, this may mean nothing whatsoever, except that making space for Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, Disney Animated Classics, and Disney live action films is becoming increasingly challenging and will lead to attempts in unusual release windows. (Check out a summary list of all the Marvel release windows below.)
If this news does mean Marvel is headed for a new franchise in August of 2020, what would you like it to be? Do you care what time of year Marvel releases movies, or is it all the same to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
First Week of May Releases: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4
July Releases: Captain America: The First Avenger, Ant-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel
November Releases: Thor: The Dark World, Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok
Other Releases: The Incredible Hulk (June), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April), Guardians of the Galaxy (August), Black Panther (February), Captain Marvel (March)