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Let’s face it: These are challenging times, and thinking too much about the movie, TV, and games release calendars can feel indulgent. But the flip side is, what we watch, play, read, and binge allows us to both escape and reflect. The world may be total chaos, but artists and art — even the $150 million blockbuster kind where things go BOOM — can often bring us closest to making sense of it all.

While the novel coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on 2020, and challenged studios to rethink the 2021 release schedule, even in the last few weeks — just look at Venom: Let There Be Carnage, an anticipated sequel that’s jumped around the calendar three times just in the last month — the fall stands to be jam-packed with Things to Do. On the heels of Shang-Chi’s success, Marvel will carry the blockbuster slate with Eternals; Warner Bros. hopes a theatrical-and-streaming model can turn Dune into a franchise-starter; and a group of awards-friendly dramas will balance out the popcorn movies with adult fare.

On the game release calendar, major delays leave tentpole duties to titles like Call of Duty: Vanguard and Battlefield 2042, but as always, there are plenty of indies just waiting to have a breakout moment. This is all on top of a wall-to-wall TV schedule, major slates of comics and book releases, and the general pressure of finding a semblance of normalcy. Should be a busy fall.

To get a sense of what’s in store for the season, dive into our collection of expansive fall previews (and don’t worry, there’s always the winter to play catch-up).