The release-date shuffle continues! At one point, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet had July 17 locked-down as a release date, with everyone and their mother trying to tout the film as the big movie theater comeback event of the summer. Then Warner Bros. moved Tenet to July 31, along with shuffling several other titles to later dates. Now that July 17 is free game, other studios are taking their chances: A24 has moved the delayed Saint Maud to that date, and Sony has done the same with their rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery. The big question is: will anyone go see them with the coronavirus still lurking around?
Are you ready to head back to movie theaters next month? Theater owners and studios sure hope so. As of now, July will be the first month with actual new theatrical releases since March. And now a new film has joined in on the action, while another previously-dated title has moved around.
The rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery was previously announced as opening on July 10, with executive producer Selena Gomez saying: “Hearing from more female writers and directors is very much needed. Natalie is a wonderful talent and I am happy to be a part of her debut film. I understand people’s concerns regarding returning to activities we all loved prior to COVID-19. I hope everyone will listen to scientists’ recommendations and consider others’ health and safety while enjoying the movie theater experience.”
Now that Tenet has vacated July 17, however, Sony has decided to push the film to that date instead. The Broken Hearts Gallery “follows the always unique Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan), a 20-something art gallery assistant living in New York City, who also happens to be an emotional hoarder. After she gets dumped by her latest boyfriend, Lucy is inspired to create The Broken Heart Gallery, a pop-up space for the items love has left behind. Word of the gallery spreads, encouraging a movement and a fresh start for all the romantics out there, including Lucy herself.”
Meanwhile, Saint Maud, a genuinely chilling new horror flick from A24, is moving to July 17 as well. That film was originally set for an April 10 release, but that date was delayed as the coronavirus made mincemeat of the theatrical release schedule. A24 is touting the film as “the first horror movie back in theaters,” which is either a brilliant marketing strategy or in really poor taste – take your pick.
In Saint Maud, “Maud, a newly devout hospice nurse, becomes obsessed with saving her dying patient’s soul — but sinister forces, and her own sinful past, threaten to put an end to her holy calling.” I caught the film at Fantastic Fest last year and thought it was fantastic. But would I recommend viewers potentially risking their lives to go see it in a theater? Probably not! In fact, I wouldn’t recommend people risk their lives for any movie.
Which raises the question: are people going to be ready to venture out to the movies in July? I wish I could say “No!”, and hold fast to the belief that Americans will be cautious. But it genuinely seems like my fellow U.S. citizens have to collectively decided to blatantly ignore the coronavirus, or at least pretend it’s over and done with – even though it’s not. Of course, there’s always a chance all these studios will blink first, and move these films away from these release dates in the end. But as of now, July is the month to watch.
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