There are virtually no blockbusters left for the remainder of 2020 but, at least for the time being, Wonder Woman 1984 is still scheduled to hit theaters this December. This is surprising for several reasons, but it also could play into a long-term business strategy for Warner Bros. As virtually every other big movie has left this year behind, the DC sequel could be positioned as the only game in town allowing for enough box office dollars to justify the release.
Wonder Woman 1984 was originally supposed to arrive in June. But as theaters shut down in the U.S. and across the world in March, release dates were delayed left and right. The movie, which sees the return of Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, has since shifted several times. At present, it is dated for December 25, just in time for Christmas.
The lack of a delay is surprising as Warner Bros. recently delayed most of its upcoming release calendar. That includes virtually the entire DC Films slate such as The Batman, which was bumped from October 2021 to March 2022. The Flash shifted from June 3, 2022, to November 4, 2022, and Shazam 2 was bumped from November 4, 2022, to June 2, 2023. Black Adam, which had been set for December 2021, is left without a new date for the time being. Dune, which had also been scheduled for December, was bumped nearly a year to October 2021. Minecraft is now undated and the only possible bright spot is The Matrix 4 getting bumped up to December 2021 from April 2022.
Outside of Warner Bros, the likes of Black Widow and No Time to Die have also vacated 2020. These are of particular importance as they appeared to be the straw that broke the camel's back. Cineworld, which operates theaters in the U.K. as well as Regal, the second-largest chain in the U.S., recently announced that it will be reclosing all of its locations this week.
Warner Bros. was the guinea pig in terms of releasing a big movie during these unprecedented times with Tenet. Christopher Nolan's latest, along with The New Mutants, encouraged movie theaters to open their doors again as local regulations lifted in many spots around the country. Unfortunately, the $200 million sci-fi/thriller has underperformed, relative to its budget, having made $307 million worldwide, even with a lack of competition. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Wonder Woman 1984 truly does stick to that date, given that it is also a hugely expensive blockbuster that needs to make a lot of money in order to be a financial success.
Patty Jenkins returns to direct the sequel. The original was a massive hit, earning $821 million at the global box office. As such, the studio stands to make a killing, assuming theaters are open and audiences are willing to make the trek to their local theater. The cast for the sequel also includes Chris Pine, who returns as Steve Trevor, as well as Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord and Kristen Wiig as Cheetah. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further updates are provided. In the meantime, Wonder Woman 1984 is expected to arrive at a theater near you on Christmas day from Warner Bros.