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The Forever Purge release delayed by pandemic; what summer films are still scheduled to open?

Still from “The First Purge”; Universal Pictures(NEW YORK) — You can now add The Forever Purge to the list of movies being pulled from scheduled release as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps theaters closed.

Variety reports that the fifth film in the Purge franchise, set in a dystopian near future where murder is legal for one night every year, has been delayed indefinitely from its previously scheduled July 10 opening.

With the summer movie season traditionally beginning Memorial Day weekend, studios with major releases scheduled for the summer have been waiting as long as they can before yanking releases from their schedules.  Some studios are opting to release films on streaming and on-demand platforms, as DreamWorks Animation and Universal did last month with Trolls World Tour, and IFC Films did last weekend with the lower-profile How to Build a Girl.

What remains to be seen is what, if any, additional scheduled releases will follow the streaming/on-demand route, as states slowly begin to re-open businesses but limit the numbers of people allowed in them.  Many theater owners say with caps on audience numbers, they won’t be able to make any money even if they are allowed to open.

While more than a few films are still scheduled to open in limited release from now through August, only a handful of major releases remain on the summer domestic release schedule, including Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Disney’s live-action Mulan, and the much-anticipated sequel Wonder Woman 1984.  For now, studios continue to take a wait-and-see approach.

Here are the films still scheduled for a wide release through August, according to Box Office Mojo:

July 1 — Unhinged
July 17 — Tenet
July 24 — Mulan
August 7 — The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
August 14 — Wonder Woman 1984
August 14 — The One and Only Ivan
August 21 — Let Him Go
August 21 — Antebellum
August 21 — Bill & Ted Face the Music

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