Disney announced another shake-up to the studio’s release calendar, postponing Ryan Reynolds’ action comedy “Free Guy” and “Death on the Nile,” the follow-up to Kenneth Branagh’s hit “The Murder on the Orient Express.”
“Free Guy” was slated for Dec. 11 and “Death on the Nile” was set to debut on Dec. 18. Neither have new release dates.
The delays are another blow to movie theaters, which have been struggling to sell tickets with the dearth of new film offerings. As it stands, “Wonder Woman 1984,” the comic book sequel starring Gal Gadot, is the only potential blockbuster still scheduled for 2020. The superhero tentpole will premiere on Christmas Day. Smaller movies, like Universal’s animated adventure “The Croods: A New Age” on Nov. 25, thriller “Freaky” on Nov. 13 and “Promising Young Woman” on Dec. 25, also remain on deck for this year.
Moviegoing in the U.S. has yet to rebound amid the pandemic, especially as major markets like Los Angeles and New York City remain closed. According to Comscore, roughly 50% of U.S. theaters are open.
“Free Guy,” directed by Shawn Levy, follows a bank teller named Guy (Reynolds) who discovers he’s a background character in a video game that’s on the brink of being shut down forever. Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Taika Waititi round out the cast.
“Death on the Nile” stars Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot as he investigates the murder of a young heiress aboard a cruise ship that is sailing on the Nile River. Along with Branagh, the starry cast includes Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening and Russell Brand. “Murder on the Orient Express” was a huge box office success, earning more than $350 million at the worldwide box office.