A24 Will Re-Release 'First Cow' In Theaters Later This Year When Coronavirus Fears Have (Hopefully) Subsided

Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) fears continue to decimate the world of movies, resulting in low box office, theater closings, and more. Universal just made the game-changing decision to release films like Trolls World Tour and The Invisible Man on VOD, breaking the theatrical window. But indie darlings A24 are taking a different approach. The studio will instead re-release Kelly Reichardt's acclaimed First Cow at a later date. I guess you could say they decided to mooooove the release.

First Cow, Kelly Reichardt's new film, already opened in several cities. But its box office haul over the weekend was considerably smaller than anyone would've liked. The paltry box office is due to coronavirus fears, as some theaters cap the number of their attendees while other theaters are shutting down entirely. Rather than go the route of Universal Studios and release First Cow on VOD, A24 is going in the opposite direction and remaining committed to the theatrical experience...just at a later date. The studio released the following statement:

We are going to relaunch Kelly Reichardt's highly acclaimed western FIRST COW later this year, once the marketplace has rebounded from the limitations presented by COVID-19.

While a part of me wishes A24 would just pull the trigger and release First Cow on VOD – I really want to see it and haven't had the chance! – you have to appreciate their commitment to the big screen. Of course, all of this is predicated on the presumption that in a few months things will be back to normal, and we won't all be living underground like Bruce Willis in the film 12 Monkeys.

Still, one can't help but wonder where the theatrical landscape goes from here. A part of me feels like this is a Pandora's Box situation, and once you open that box and debut new release movies on VOD, and ignore the theatrical window, it's going to be very hard to go back to the way things are. My guess is that if Universal is successful with their plan to release titles like Trolls World Tour and The Invisible Man on VOD this month, other studios are going to start following suit. If not, they'd be losing out on potential earnings. And if more and more studios fall in line, what happens next? This is all uncharted territory, and we have no idea how it's all going to shake out in the end. In the meantime, let's all watch the trailer for First Cow, and pretend things are normal!

First Cow!