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Sony 'won't make the mistake' of opening a Tenet-sized film during the pandemic

By Jacob Oller
Ghostbusters: Afterlife poster

As Tenet and especially The New Mutants make the case that returning to theaters early while the pandemic still threatens the world isn't great for box-office business, other studios are assessing what that means for their own returns to the big screen. Sony Pictures has already bumped movies like Marvel comic adaptation Morbius and Ghostbusters: Afterlife to 2021, but with a few more films on the docket for the year — and a coronavirus that doesn't look to be handled anytime soon — the studio is trying not to make the errors of its peers.

At least, that's how Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tony Vinciquerra put it during Bank of America’s 2020 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference. According to The Wrap, Vinciquerra explained that the studio would be playing it far safer than Warner Bros. or Disney when it comes to putting big movies back into theaters.

“What we won’t do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie out in the market unless we’re sure that theaters are open and operating at significant capacity,” Vinciquerra said. Now, there's still small movies coming from Sony — including rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery, which looks to open Sept. 11 — but they're not massive genre films looking to attract big audiences. Granted, even Vinciquerra isn't sure how the strategy will shake out.

“You’ll see a lot of strange things happen over the next six months in how films are released, how they’re scheduled, how they’re marketed," said Vinciquerra, "but once we get back to normal, we will have learned a lot I think and found ways to do things that are somewhat different and hopefully better."

The next major genre release Sony looks to place in theaters is the animated film Connected, due to drop Oct. 23. And if fans look over the next six-ish months, they'll see Peter Rabbit 2 on the horizon for Jan. 15, 2021; Ghostbusters: Afterlife set for March 5; Morbius on March 19; and Monster Hunter on April 23. What will happen to these and others on the Sony slate seems up in the air as long as COVID-19 continues to affect the world.

SYFY WIRE has reached out to Sony Pictures for comment.