Is the era of the Hollywood blockbuster over?

Published:Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 08:11

Is the era of the Hollywood blockbuster over?

In 2020, the billion-dollar blockbuster has been defeated by Covid-19 more convincingly than by any on-screen villain.

Most of the year’s proposed blockbusters – films with a budget of more than £100 million – are on hold.

The James Bond film No Time To Die has been postponed twice; Disney’s live-action Mulan was released on the studio’s streaming platform; and Top Gun: Maverick is still riding a motorbike to nowhere.

Even Marvel films such as Black Widow – reliable stalwarts of the summer event season – have been pushed back indefinitely, as studios wait for a return to normality.

But while screen heroes can’t currently save the world, they may still be able to save the big screen experience, says Screen International’s chief film critic, Finn Halligan.

“It’s like we’ve been having a staring contest,” she says, of the stand-off between film studios and cinemas. “Someone’s got to blink.”

A small sign of eye movement came with recent news that Wonder Woman 1984 would be released simultaneously at both US cinemas and online, on Christmas Day 2020.