CinemaCon 2021 has been officially postponed from April to August. The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) is currently going through an unprecedented time, like the rest of the world, thanks to the global public health crisis. This year’s CinemaCon, like just about everything else in 2020, was canceled. Movie theaters in Los Angeles and New York City, for the most part, have not opened their doors since March of this year.
When it comes down to it, NATO and CinemaCon need more time to make sure they can assure the same event they have delivered in previous years. As it stands, everything is looking uncertain as cases continue to spike across North America and Europe. Theaters in England, Italy, and Germany have already shut down again. CinemaCon’s managing director Mitch Neuhauser had this to say in a statement.
“With all the travel, logistical, and capacity concerns for the convention, our 7,500 attendees, vendors, and studio distribution partners, we couldn’t guarantee we could present the kind of show the industry expects in April. In close consultation with our studio and industry partners, we are rescheduling CinemaCon for August, when we think we can put on the kind of showcase we do best, and celebrate the moviegoing experience with the entire industry.”
CinemaCon 2021 will now take place August 23rd-26th at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas after originally being scheduled for April 26th. The news comes right after Disney decided to pull its final two Fox movies from their 2020 release slate. Death on the Nile and Free Guy will now come out sometime next year, though no concrete release date has been announced. As of this writing, Warner Bros. is the last one standing with Wonder Woman 1984 still on track for its Christmas Day release.
CinemaCon usually gives exhibitors a chance to preview their upcoming release slates. With 2020 pretty much canceling every major movie theater event, save for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, 2021’s event would likely be filled with movies that were supposed to have come out this year. Marvel Studios alone had to take the Black Widow and Eternals movie and shift them into next year, with both movies coming out a year later than originally anticipated. With that being said, the studios have been developing a lot of material for future projects.
Throwing CinemaCon into August also puts it in line with San Diego Comic-Con, which takes place at the end of July, along with the 2021 D23 Expo. It’s not clear if DC will do their FanDome event next year or not, but if large gatherings are allowed again by next summer, there will be a lot of industry events to attend in a short amount of time. It will be interesting to see where the world is at when next summer comes along. Variety was one of the first outlets to report on CinemaCon postponing to August 2021.