Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last eight months or so, you know that COVID-19 has caused a huge amount of chaos in the entertainment industry with a majority of films having to decide between delaying their releases or even shifting to online platforms to make their debut.
You can now add the new Wonder Woman movie WW84 to the list of repeated casualties. After originally planning to hit the multiplexes late last year, the strategy was then to release it in 2020… but the June release date was also pulled (with cinemas shuttering there was very little choice in the matter) and though there was a stated determination to stay the course and hold out for a cinema release, the relentless coronavirus seems to have scuppered the most recent plan to open the film in the first week of October. Warners have now pulled that date as well and are now saying they are planning to have the film’s opening weekend at Christmas.
“Patty Jenkins is an exceptional filmmaker and with Wonder Woman 1984 she has delivered an incredibly dynamic film that moviegoers of all ages around the world will absolutely love. We’re very proud of the film and look forward to bringing it to audiences for the holidays,” Warner Bros Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement today.
“First and foremost let me say how much Gal and I love all our devoted Wonder Woman fans around the world, and your excitement for WW84 couldn’t make us happier or more eager for you to see the movie. Because I know how important it is to bring this movie to you on a big screen when all of us can share the experience together, I’m hopeful you won’t mind waiting just a little bit longer. With the new date on Christmas Day, we can’t wait to spend the holidays with you!” Jenkins herself added.
The only other major release planned for the holiday period is Dune and the studios believe that Dune will trend towards men and WW84 towards women – though one suspects that the separation of demographics is likely to be far less stark in reality. The vacating of the October date will also give Warners the ability to concentrate on the push of a wider circulation for Tenet which has been on a very limited release for the last week or so.
The fact that many movie-theatres remain closed, even the ones open have restricted/limited seating and that audiences have generally been reluctant to venture out to multiplexes while the virus is still a problem, means that the decision to delay Wonder Woman was one that was highly-likely. The Christmas date could easily slip in to 2021 if things do not improve.