As we enter into fall, the question for moviegoers is an important one — will there be a fall or winter movie season?
Last week, Disney answered with a firm “No,” as it pushed back all of its potential blockbusters, like “Black Widow” and “Death on the Nile” to 2021, likely in response to the poor U.S. box office numbers for big-budget movies like “Tenet” and “The New Mutants.”
There is one thing keeping some blockbusters in theaters — international moviegoers, who turned out like crazy for “Tenet,” even if Americans did not. So if you’re wondering why any of the non-Netflix or Prime Video movies are coming to St. Joseph or Kansas City, that’s why.
While this preview does not serve as an endorsement to return to the cinema (I trust you to make your own decision on that), these are movies coming up that we’re excited to see, even if that might mean waiting for a drive-in movie or video on demand.
As of Sept. 29, here’s what to look forward to (if they don’t get delayed):
‘Hubie Halloween’ (Oct. 7, Netflix)
I’ve spent year ragging on latter-day Adam Sandler films for being cheap, juvenile excuses for he and his actor friends to take paid vacations and, coincidentally, film a movie while they’re there. But between his hilarious Netflix stand-up special, “Uncut Gems” and recent interviews, I’ve come to love him again. This Halloween-themed comedy looks very stupid. But I could go for that right now. Throw in some great supporting actors like Maya Rudolph, Kenan Thompson, Tim Meadows and Shaq, and I’m all in.
‘Freaky’ (Nov. 13, in theaters)
Writer-director Christopher Landon took the concept of “Groundhog Day” and made into two fun horror-comedies with the “Happy Death Day” series. Now, he’s doing the “Freaky Friday” model as a young woman, played by Kathryn Newton (“Detective Pikachu”) and a serial killer, played by Vince Vaughn, swap bodies and drop some bodies as well. As expected, it looks like a lot of dumb fun.
‘No Time to Die’ (Nov. 20, in theaters)
If everything goes as planned, James Bond will finally get his day in theaters on Nov. 20 with “No Time To Die.” It was originally one of the first films to be delayed because of the start of the pandemic and likely won’t be pushed back because, as “Tenet” proved, international audiences are in the bag for men shooting each other in tuxedos. So this should be a hit.
‘Soul’ (Nov. 20, in theaters)
The latest film from Pixar, about an aspiring jazz musician whose soul gets separated from his body, was expected to be Pixar’s big summer movie. Instead, it was delayed and rumored to get dumped on to Disney+ — a shame for what looks like a dazzling film. In response, Disney has assured viewers that it will be released in theaters. Once again, American audiences really don’t matter, as international viewers will likely cover its budget, so it will likely see these plans through. Still, a movie about a guy dying might be tough sell during these times.
‘Dune’ (Dec. 18, in theaters)
What’s supposed to be a more accurate interpretation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 book, compared to the cult hit by David Lynch, this star-studded sci-fi film, with Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin, directed by “Arrival’s” Denis Villeneuve is what I would bet will be the biggest hit of the season, even considering the pandemic. It looks visually stunning, mysterious and enthralling. Bring on the giant worms.