Still from Sony’s “Venom.”
The release of Sony Pictures‘ “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” will be delayed by nearly a month, the studio said Thursday, as Covid-19 cases grow across the country due to the new delta variant.
The movie will now open on Oct. 15 instead of Sept. 24. The “Venom” sequel had already been pushed several times during the pandemic.
While it’s only a short delay, the decision could signal the start of more theatrical postponements as coronavirus cases have surged in the U.S.
The movie theater business has struggled to recover from pandemic shutdowns, in part because of a lack of product, and because much of the content that does arrive in cinemas has also been made available on streaming services.
Studios originally postponed big blockbusters last year because they wanted to capture as much money as possible from ticket sales to make back the hundreds of millions of dollars that were spent on production. Moviegoers are returning to theaters, but not in the droves that they were before the pandemic.
Films like Disney’s “Black Widow” and Universal’s “F9” have generated a decent sum at the box office, but only a fraction of what they likely would have made in a time without Covid-19. Notably, the first “Venom” film garnered $855 million at the global box office.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “F9.”