January 24, 2022

Faced with Omicron, several film releases again postponed

CINEMA – The year 2022 is not starting off in the best possible way for the world of cinema. Faced with the outbreak of the Omicron variant, and despite keeping theaters open, the latter was forced to postpone several film releases scheduled for this month of January.

Warner has just announced this Wednesday, January 5 the postponement of Permission fromto construct, initially expected next week, on March 9. The feature film, directed by Éric Fraticelli starring Didier Bourdon, is added to a growing list.

Among the other victims: the film Morbius, centered on Spider-Man’s illustrious enemy vampire in the Marvel Universe, played by Jared Leto. The blockbuster produced by Sony, was due out on January 26, but was postponed to March 30 in France, and April 1 in the United States. This is the fifth time since the start of the pandemic that it, initially scheduled for 2020, has been postponed.

Omicron, a “tidal wave”

In mid-December, Gaumont had for his part chosen to shift Rumba life, the comedy directed and performed by Franck Dubosc, lasting several months (from January 19 to August 24). The production company also announced the postponement (from March 30 to May 18) of the satirical comedy I love what you do, directed by Philippe Guillard, and in which Gérard Lanvin plays his own role.

The Omicron variant, the spread of which is described as a “tidal wave” by the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, has become increasingly threatening in recent weeks. The figures are colossal: nearly 300,000 new cases have been identified in France in the last 24 hours, unheard of since the appearance of Covid-19 in 2020.

Globally, the UK and US have more than 200,000 and 1 million daily cases, respectively. Some European countries such as Spain (where most of the population is vaccinated) or Denmark are also breaking their records with around 100,000 and 20,000 positive cases listed.

With these postponements, distributors therefore anticipate the implementation of potential restrictions, which would undoubtedly impact the attendance of dark rooms. Because it started to rise again in December (with 20.43 million admissions) and the immense success of Spider-Man: No Way Home is no stranger to it.

A breath of fresh air for cinemas

The 27th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe alone has attracted more than 5 million curious people in France (more than a billion dollars collected worldwide), a record since the start of the pandemic. His pursuers were not left out: the animated film All in Scene 2 has for its part exceeded the million entries and the fourth opus of Shower (released early December) totaled more than 2 million.

It was these good friendships that convinced Fred Cavayé, director of the adaptation of the famous play. Farewell Mr. Haffmann, to maintain the release of his film until Wednesday, January 12. “Films must live”, assures the filmmaker to HuffPost. “Fortunately there are still films in theaters and people to go see them” during this gloomy period.

His feature film, carried by Gilles Lellouche, Daniel Auteuil and Sara Giraudeau, will have lived it all: a shooting stopped by the three months of total confinement in the spring of 2020, a rewriting of the scenario to avoid scenes with too many extras, a release several times rejected… But Fred Cavayé prefers to be positive, convinced that all these steps will have “made it possible to make the film better”. And if he admits to being frustrated at the idea of ​​not being able to organize a preview tour, he has only one hurry: that the spectators discover his work.

See also on The HuffPost: Theaters or streaming, will the cinema of the “next world” really be different?