Wonder Woman 1984 will not go straight to premium streaming, and if it keeps up, the director warns that theater closures could be irreversible. Things are looking very bleak for cinema halls at the moment. Almost every major blockbuster has been delayed by a year or more, and audiences are afraid to come to theaters for fear of infection. Trade analysts have already sounded the death knell for the cinema industry as more and more theater chains buckle under the pressure of staying open. In an interview with Reuters, the director of Wonder Woman 1984, Patty Jenkins, warned that the current situation will spell doom for the entire industry:
"If we shut [theaters] down, this will not be a reversible process. We could lose movie theater-going forever. It could be the kind of thing that happened to the music industry, where you could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can't be profitable. I don't think any of us want to live in a world where the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room, and not have a place to go for a date."
Patty Jenkins is part of a growing number of filmmakers who have banded together to appeal to the US government to provide aid to theater chains in terms of financing and tax rebates to help the industry get through this difficult time. The thing is, such kind of aid would have to be massive and would have to continue indefinitely.
There are those who are predicting audiences will not be willing to return to /tag/movie-theaters/movie theaters until a vaccine has been developed and propagated widely for the current global emergency, and that could take anywhere from a few months to several years.
Then there is the fact that most studios are hesitating to put big-budget movies back into production for fear of infection. That means even if cinemas somehow manage to stay open, they will be lacking in the kind of blockbuster fare that drives massive crowds to theaters and fuels the entire industry. The domino effect does not end there. If there are no more movies doing blockbuster numbers at the box-office, studios will not have the money needed to finance new blockbuster movies.
That means audiences will have to make do with small-to-mid budget movies for a long time. Sure, you can make small dramas and single-location comedies with a handful of cast and crew in the new era of socially-distanced filmmaking, but that kind of cinema will never have the kind of wide appeal of say, the MCU or the Harry Potter franchise. For now, Jenkins expressed her hope that the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 will be able to buck the trend, and open in cinemas by the end of the year:
"I really hope that we are able to be one of the very first ones to come back and bring that into everyone's life."
Directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman 1984 features a cast consisting of Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and Natasha Rothwell. The film arrives in theaters December 25. This news was first reported at Reuters.