Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins says that when it comes to the release of the Wonder Woman sequel, “I don’t think anybody can be confident of anything right now." Jenkins was recently doing an interview regarding her Wonder Woman 1984 star Pedro Pascal (who plays DC villain Maxwell Lord in the film) when she was asked about how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may threaten Wonder Woman 1984's planned Christmas Day release. It's a fair question - and response from Jenkins - as the movie theater industry has been teetering on the edge of ruin in the last few weeks.
Here's the full quote of the exchange Patty Jenkins had with Variety, regarding Wonder Woman 1984's release: “I don’t think anybody can be confident of anything right now. We just don’t know what the course of COVID is going to be like." The trade notes that Jenkins said she's "very hopeful" about Wonder Woman 1984 still arriving on Christmas, stating that, "It feels totally possible to me."
But does it though?
At the time of writing this, movie theater chains have all but given up on the year 2020. Fall season brought the disastrous news that big films like Marvel's Black Widow and James Bond No Time to Die were pulling out of their November release dates, and relocating to 2021. Wonder Woman 1984 had already delivered a crushing blow to theaters by pulling out of an October release and rescheduling for Christmas. Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan's Tenet took a leap of faith by releasing in September, only to fall on its face at the box office; and Disney saw New Mutants flounder back in August.
So, from August through October, movie theaters have been trying to operate where and when they could, with no big, new, attractions to offer moviegoers. It's no surprise then that theater chains like Regal Cinemas are closing their doors until further notice. As that downward spiral continues, analysts grow more and more skeptical that the movie theater industry (as we know it) can rebound in the next year. As Patty Jenkins points out, there's still no real timeline as to when the COVID-19 pandemic will subside, and theaters will be able to get back to business as usual.
Is Christmas 2020 really a realistic goal for big movies to re-open? Many families are trying to cope with the reality that they won't be gathering together during the holiday season this year - let alone making big family outings to the movies. With COVID-19 infections once again spiking, and a tumultuous election coming, it questionable if the masses share in Patty Jenkins' hopes.
For now, Wonder Woman 1984 is still set for release on Christmas Day.