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Summer Blockbuster Season Is Here — Minus The Movie Theaters

Moviegoers watch a preview in their socially distanced vehicles at Mission Tiki drive-in theater in Montclair, Calif., Thursday, May 28, 2020. California moved to further relax its coronavirus restrictions and help the battered economy. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)
Moviegoers watch a preview in their socially distanced vehicles at Mission Tiki drive-in theater in Montclair, Calif., Thursday, May 28, 2020. California moved to further relax its coronavirus restrictions and help the battered economy. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

The summer blockbuster movie season will be a bit different this year during the coronavirus pandemic. Theaters are out, streaming is in, and the drive-in has come back into vogue. We’ll go behind the curtain and help direct you to the best of what the silver screen has to offer in the coming months.

Guests

Shawn Edwards, film critic for Fox 4 News in Kansas City. Co-founder of the African-American Film Critics Association. ( @sedwardskc)

Alissa Wilkinson, film critic and culture reporter for Vox. ( @alissamarie)

From The Reading List

The New York Times: “ The Future That Hollywood Feared Is Happening Now” — “The movie industry was already on a precipice. Did the pandemic just give it a push? With theaters shuttered all over the world and hundreds of millions of people ordered to stay at home, it’s unclear when the movie industry can resume business as normal, or even whether that ‘normal’ will look anything like Hollywood wants it to. Pivotal pieces of the film calendar — including the summer-blockbuster season and the year-end awards gantlet — have been thrown into disarray, and in their absence the gulf between streaming media and the theatrical experience may only widen further.”

Vanity Fair: “ Every Movie Release Date Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic” — “On March 4, No Time to Die — the fifth and final Bond film with Daniel Craig in the role of 007 — saw its release date pushed from April to November. Two weeks later, theaters across the U.S. were closed. That’s how quickly the coronavirus pandemic wiped out moviegoing this year, halting productions and forcing studios executives to boot their potential blockbusters off long-held and carefully programmed release dates.”

Forbes: “ Box Office: We Should Stop Pretending That We’re Going To Have A Summer Movie Season” — “Yes, it’s possible that Mulan and Tenet will stick to their new release dates, and that the films currently slated for July and August won’t be further delayed. At best, and I’m presuming that Sony’s rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery won’t stay in its current July 17 slot, we’re going to get a single month of would-be ‘summer movies.’ For all intents and purposes, summer 2020 will start on July 31 with Unhinged and the tenth-anniversary reissue of Inception and will end on September 4 (Labor Day weekend) with Paramount PGRE’s A Quiet Place Part II.”

The New York Times: “ At the Drive-In: Thrills, Chills, Popcorn and Hand Sanitizer” — “In the end, it was the rain, not the virus, that drove some moviegoers to leave the drive-in theater here Friday as a storm interrupted the season’s first shows. Hours before, SUVs, sedans and pickup trucks had crunched along the gravel road leading to the Warwick Drive-In’s three screens, and then were directed to a grassy mound where they parked for the evening to watch the double features.”

IndieWire: “ What a Summer Season Without Big Blockbusters Means for Movie Lovers” — “With most theaters closed (and likely not opening any time soon), the usually tentpole-filled summer season is taking a different shape this year. For IndieWire’s critics, that means many things, from cinematic silver linings to questions about the future of the blockbuster landscape.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.