The ongoing COVID-19 has pretty much ground everything in 2020 to a halt. Those of us who go to conventions or film festivals got C2E2 and Sundance, and that was about it. Since March, most people haven't been to a movie theater, and those of us that have ventured out to theaters for the occasional release has had to do so by basically buying out entire theaters with friend groups that you can feel like you can trust. In America, we have lost over a quarter of a million people to COVID-19, and infections and death rates continue to spike. It's very clear that things are not getting better, they are getting worse, and they are getting a lot worse even as the promise of vaccine looms over the horizon. Is there a potential light at the end of the tunnel? Absolutely, but we have one hell of a terrible winter to get through first.
Christmas Day Releases Bring Out The Big Guns At The Wrong Time
Movie theaters and studios started to delay major releases in March, and while a few movies have come out since then, there has been a good day where several big releases are coming out. It didn't seem like there was going to be a day like that in 2020 until the final schedule for December 25th dropped, and we got a good look at what is coming out. Wonder Woman 1984 is releasing in theaters, and on HBO Max, Monster Hunter moved up from the 31st to the 25th, Promising Young Woman which made its debut at Sundance this year, and star Carey Mulligan is already getting Oscar buzz plus, that ending is going to start quite the conversation, One Night in Miami is the on-screen adaptation of the incredible play of the same name by Kemp Powers which is also generating Oscar buzz, and the new Tom Hanks period drama called News of the World is also releasing. Those titles combined with some award contenders like Nomadland and Minari dropping earlier in the month means we're going to have a decent day at movie theaters for the first time since March.
And it couldn't come at a worse time.
The reality of the situation is that we are a lot worse off than we were at the beginning of the year or even the summer when many big blockbusters were getting delayed. There could not be a worse time for movie theaters to open up the doors to let everyone see movies. It's a personal choice, it always has been, but that doesn't mean it's the right time. There are already going to be a bunch of people traveling for the holidays and gathering in large groups. If they catch the virus, people who travel for Christmas will be getting sick and contagious by the time Christmas Day releases start hitting. It's a recipe for disaster. The specter of a second lockdown, one that might be even more strict than the first, is a real thing that could happen, but that doesn't mean we should get out and have a hay day until the lockdown happens.
Movies Are Great, Movies Are Amazing, Stay The Hell Home Anyway
If this were any other year, this would be a great Christmas release schedule. There is something for everyone, more or less, and families would be able to enjoy great movies either on the holidays or in that weird between time until the New Year hits. However, 2020 is not a normal year, and all signs point to the United States and other countries still failing to get their collective shit together. That line-up on Christmas Day might be tempting, but considering some of you still pitching hissy fits about wearing masks like the most spoiled toddlers in the history of forever, the time is not right.
Movies are great, movies are amazing, and seeing great and amazing movies on big screens with booming sound systems is an experience that so many of us took for granted pre-pandemic and want to experience again. That doesn't mean now is the right time. Stay home, watch Soul or Wonder Woman 1984 in the safety of your homes, and wear your freaking masks while continuing to social distance. We might have a vaccine on the way, but now it's time to deal with the idiots thinking said vaccine will put a tracking chip in their bodies as they frantically rage tweet on their cell phones with the location services turned on. We have a long way to go, and no movie is worth the risk.
Wear your freaking masks, social distance, stay home, and stay safe, everyone; this thing is far from over.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities