By this point, everyone is expecting another announcement that will push Warner Bros.'s Wonder Woman 1984 -- currently scheduled for a Christmas release -- into 2021. At this point, the studio is apparently still mulling, and will make the decision based on what happens next with the ever-evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic. Even for theaters that have reopened, trying to get big crowds of people to go out and sit in a room together has proven challenging, and many of them have closed again. Meanwhile, there has been another recent surge in cases around the U.S., which represents Warner's main market, and some European markets such as Germany and France are already closing cinemas back down.
Theaters that are open have had a number of smaller releases, as well as Christopher Nolan's Tenet and a number of special engagements and re-releases, giving fans a chance to see movies like Star Wars and Alita: Battle Angel on the big screen again. Bigger tentpole releases have been slow to return, though.
"I hope so," Ann Sarnoff, who is head of WarnerMedia's studios and networks, told an audience at Variety’s Power of Women summit after being asked whether the Christmas date would stick. "It really is about how the US continues to open and whether there are any other surges. We've got a little bit of time to figure that out."
For those really eager to see a comic book movie on the big screen (and assuming you live someplace that theaters are open), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will return to theaters on November 5-7 to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
So far, big releases have mostly been delayed, and the ones that are still on the schedule have tried to steer clear of one another, giving moviegoers an opportunity to pick one and watching what happens. In an economy where a lot of the audience doesn't want to be out in public, it's hard to generate $100 million-plus in a weekend when you also have to split the audience with somebody else.
In December, there are still a number of films on the schedule, and while Wonder Woman is certainly the biggest name, that doesn't necessarily mean it will crowd others out. Instead, it could mean that the potential downside for Warners if the movie underperforms is significantly more than the downside for other movies that could release during that same period, and therefore it makes more sense for them to push Wonder Woman than it does for another film to move.