Disney reportedly has three to four weeks to make another decision on Black Widow's release date, which many expect to be delayed again.
Disney reportedly has four weeks before they have to make a decision on the Black Widow release date. The highly-anticipated Black Widow was at one point slated to kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 4, but its debut has been continuously disrupted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Black Widow has had its release date delayed multiple times, and it's currently scheduled to premiere this May. Despite rumors it will release on Disney+ as part of the streamer's Premier Access program, Disney maintains Black Widow will receive a traditional theatrical release.
Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that will be able to happen. Due to factors such as a slow vaccine rollout, new COVID-19 variants spreading, and a high number of new confirmed cases, Hollywood executives believe the 2021 movie release calendar is a mess and the summer tentpoles will have to move again. The expectation is Black Widow will be one of the next titles to be pushed back, and if it is to be delayed further, it sounds like an announcement will be made soon.
According to Variety, a call on Black Widow's release date should be made in the next "three to four weeks." This tidbit was part of the outlet's coverage on upcoming summer 2021 movies that will probably be delayed, including Black Widow and F9.
This timeline for Black Widow adds up, as four weeks from now is mid-March. The movie is supposed to come out in May, so if Disney is going to stick to that date, they'll have to rev up the marketing campaign in the spring. There hasn't been a Black Widow trailer since last March, released right before the coronavirus outbreak took a turn for the worse and the shutdowns happened. Disney is sitting on further advertising materials until they have a concrete release plan locked down, in an effort to avoid wasting money. Right now, there are too many uncertainties at play, which is likely why Black Widow didn't have a presence at this year's Super Bowl.
Whether or not Black Widow keeps its current release date obviously depends on how things progress regarding the pandemic. However, barring a miraculous turnaround, it seems highly unlikely the situation will have improved enough in three or four weeks in order for Disney to confidently move forward with a major tentpole. A majority of U.S. theaters remain closed, and movies like Black Widow are reliant on ticket sales in order to recoup their budgets and turn a profit. Based on how Tenet performed at the box office last year, it doesn't read as a logical business decision to release a blockbuster in the middle of a pandemic. Odds are, Black Widow will be delayed again.