DC Films Looks to Repeat Joker Success With Wonder Woman 1984 and The Batman’s October Release Dates

DC Films will premiere Wonder Woman 1984 and The Batman one year apart with October release dates in 2020 and 2021, respectively, where studio Warner Bros. could repeat the success of $1 billion-plus grosser Joker. Released on October 4, 2019, the R-rated Joker set a record for the month with a $96 million opening weekend before grossing a worldwide total of $1.074 billion, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time and the first film with the rating to bypass a billion. The Todd Phillips-directed drama became the third highest-grossing DC film behind only DC Extended Universe entry Aquaman ($1.14 billion) and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises ($1.08 billion), both rated PG-13.

Warner Bros. next opens Wonder Woman 1984, director Patty Jenkins' sequel to summer 2017 hit Wonder Woman, this October 2 after setting the tentpole for June 5. WW 84 was shifted back to August 14 amid the coronavirus pandemic and was bumped into the fall when the studio delayed Nolan's latest, twisty thriller Tenet, from July 17 to a tentative July 31.

The Batman, director Matt Reeves' reboot starring Robert Pattinson, vacated its June 2021 release date four weeks after production was shut down due to coronavirus. It now opens October 1, 2021.

The studio earlier found success in the first week of October with the Sandra Bullock and George Clooney starring Gravity, once the biggest October earner when it opened October 4, 2013, and Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's modestly-budgeted A Star Is Born, which earned $436 million worldwide when its world tour kicked off on October 5, 2018.

The romantic musical drama competed against Sony superhero movie Venom, the biggest October earner until it was unseated by Joker.

"One of the things I’m most happy and proud of the movie on its own — but also the fact that audiences seem to really respond to it — is it bucks the trend that people always say movies have to be purely an escape or they have to be fun and easy, or ‘don’t do this in a movie, because you’ll never get the audience,'" cinematographer Lawrence Sher said about Joker's blockbuster box office. "This movie challenges all of those things, and its box office result has just proved that audiences are ready and are excited by things that are different, and risky, and even at times just wholly artistic."

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"I think this movie stands alone in a studio space, certainly, in a way that's very exciting," he added, "and I'm super proud to have been a part of it."

Warner Bros. next releases Wonder Woman 1984 October 2, followed by The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, The Batman on October 1, 2021, and Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam on December 22, 2021. The Flash follows on June 3, 2022, ahead of Shazam! 2 and Aquaman 2 in late 2022.

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