The fate of Wonder Woman 1984's 2020 release date, or not, is going to be decided soon. The Warner Brothers movie based on the iconic DC Comics character has been subject to several delays, both pandemic related and otherwise, in its journey to theaters. Currently, the film is scheduled to release on December 25 but Warner Brothers recently pulled Dune out of the same holiday window and many movie theaters have closed their doors again. On the heels of Tenet feeling like a sacrificial lamb to test the mid-pandemic box office waters, most studios have vacated 2020's theatrical release slate completely.
After Tenet's lackluster outing in theaters by comparison to what it likely would have made under normal circumstances, the conversation in Hollywood indicated that blockbuster films would not start dropping until theaters in New York and Los Angeles were allowed to open up. Now, a bit of good news came in the form of New York's governor Andrew Cuomo announcing that he will be permitting theaters to reopen. It's the biggest step toward big movies being able to release by major studios since August's effort came up short.
“It has become clear that movie studios are not willing to release blockbuster product until key major markets are open,” AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron said Monday (via Variety). “Therefore, it is a monumental step in the right direction for our entire industry that theaters are starting to open across the state of New York.”
Warner Brothers is going to be analyzing the potential for Warner Brothers success after it was a surefire hit under normal circumstances. It would have easily surpassed its massively successful Wonder Woman predecessor's box office haul. Now, Warner Brothers has the added weight of having lost a solid chunk of revenue from Tenet's run, a movie by Christopher Nolan which had anything but a small budget.
Ahead of Wonder Woman 1984 still are The Croods: A New Age and Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy. Free Guy was made under the Fox banner prior to Disney's acquisition of the studio, a possible trait which could make Disney more likely to release it as The New Mutants was a product of the same manufacturers prior to Disney taking on those Fox assets and it released quietly in August. Meanwhile, Universal has become quite fond of the on-demand release style, having success with several titles throughout the year.
Theater owners hope to see Wonder Woman 1984 keep its Christmas release date, especially as some are facing potential bankruptcy before the year is over. Wonder Woman 1984 is the only title remaining in 2020 with truly blockbuster potential, though its run would inevitably be somewhat hindered, if only by the limited capacity rules imposed on theaters.0comments
“Cuomo opening theaters to 25% capacity isn’t enough,” Michael Pachter, an entertainment analyst with Wedbush Securities, predicts. “Studios are going to make a business decision.”
The decision should arrive within the next few weeks and it shouldn't be surprising if Wonder Woman 1984 is pushed into 2021.