A Heap of Already-Delayed Movies Have Postponed Their Australian Releases Due to Lockdowns

Across the last few months of 2021, and spilling into 2022, there’ll be something strange happening in Australian cinemas. This’ll be the case in places where big screens have still been showing new movies over the past few months, and also in Sydney and Melbourne when they’re permitted to reopen following the two cities’ respective (and long, and ongoing) lockdowns. The flicks that’ll be playing? Many will be films we’ve been hearing about for a few years now because they were meant to release in 2020, and were then pushed back a few times due to the pandemic. But, there’ll be something different going on Down Under, because a heap of these already-delayed movies have just been postponed again — only for Aussie viewers.

Been waiting for No Time to Die, Dune, The French Dispatch, Halloween Kills and Ghostbusters: Afterlife? You’ll now be waiting a bit longer. They’re just some of the movies that’ve delayed their Aussie releases because cinemas in our two biggest cities have been closed due to lockdowns. Instead of hitting the silver screen in places around the country that are open, then perhaps being fast-tracked to digital — as In the Heights, The Suicide Squad and a range of other titles have lately — these movies have been pushed back nationwide to wait for projectors in Sydney and Melbourne to start whirring.

So, if you like your spy movies shaken, not stirred, you’ll now be holding out until November 11 to see the latest Bond flick. Fancy sand worms and seeing Timothée Chalamet follow in Kyle MacLachlan’s footsteps? Mark December 2 in your diary for your date with Dune. Wes Anderson’s suitably star-studded latest movie, The French Dispatch, will now arrive on December 11, while Michael Myers will get slashing again in Halloween Kills on October 28 (because this horror sequel was always going to stay in October, at least). And, wondering when there really will be something strange in your neighbourhood again? That’ll come with Ghostbusters: Afterlife on January 1, 2022.

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Venom: Let There Be Carnage will also releasing later than expected, hitting on November 25 this year — and, like all of the above movies, it’ll arrive locally after it releases in the US. So, you might see your social media feeds filled with chatter about flicks that you’ve been looking forward to, are out overseas, but haven’t yet opened in Australia.

Aussies will also be waiting longer to see a few films that haven’t been pushed around for a year or so — movies that’ve only dropped their first trailers in past months — such as Malignant (October 21), The Many Saints of Newark (November 4), Last Night in Soho (November 18), The Last Duel (November 18), Dear Evan Hansen (December 9), House of Gucci (December 26), The Matrix Resurrections (January 1) and King Richard (January 18). There’s also Zola, which’ll now hit on November 18 after being delayed everywhere until 2021, releasing in the US midyear, then having its Australian debut pushed back.

And, some long-delayed flicks have kept postponing their releases worldwide, too, such as the Spider-Man-related Morbius, featuring Jared Leto (January 20); The King’s Man, the next instalment in the Kingsman franchise; and Top Gun: Maverick (May 26), because it doesn’t feel the need for speed just yet.

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If you’re living somewhere where picture palaces have been shut for months, you’re probably just keen to see whatever you can whenever you’re allowed — understandably. In Sydney, that’s due to happen when New South Wales reaches the 70-percent fully vaxxed mark, which is expected in mid-October. In Melbourne, no timeframe has been given for reopening cinemas just yet, or easing out of lockdown in general; however the travel radius will expand to ten kilometres and outdoor exercise will be allowed for three hours once 70 percent of Victorians have had their first jabs.

Of course, moving release dates around was a regular part of movie-going life before the pandemic, too. More often than not, big blockbuster titles had been hitting Aussie cinemas at the same time as overseas, though.

New films are still releasing in cinemas Down Under each week at the moment, where they’re open, and will continue to do so; however, you’ll just be waiting longer for some movies, including a number of big-name flicks, in some instances.

To check out the new releases screening in Australian cinemas each week, check out our weekly rundown, complete with reviews. 

Image: Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

Published on September 13, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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