And it finally happened. The ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ reschedule was a delay that was coming. The movie has now been pushed to an August 14 release date after being initially scheduled to release on June 5.
With this, the Patty Jenkins-directed sequel joins the list of highly-anticipated films that have rescheduled their release dates after the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
For the last few days, there were enough reports and rumors milling on the internet about WB pondering between a theatrical release or a digital debut. In the end, it was the former with a delayed-release.
However, unlike the other major flicks like ‘F9’ (May 22, 2020, to April 2, 2021) and ‘No Time to Die’ (April 10, 2020, to November 25, 2020), ‘WW1984’ has just looked at pushing it for two months. The only questions would be why and what it would mean for WB and the DCEU.
For starters, the explanation is quite simple. DC needs a hit for two reasons — raking in the moolah big time and dominating the BO after a rather dismal outing with ‘Birds of Prey’ and a chance to trump ‘Black Widow’.
The Margot Robbie-starrer debuted this February and touched the $200M mark two days ago. However, the movie received mixed reviews from critics and fans.
Furthermore, the DC Universe franchise’s box-office numbers took a hit in Southeast Asia and WB has pointed fingers at the ongoing deadly coronavirus. The movie had a production budget of $84.5million and was expected to open to around $50million, but instead raked in just $33.3million in American theatres, reported Daily Mail.
While WB has made the statement, the site also reported that ‘Birds of Prey’ has no China release scheduled. Even the 2016 film, ‘Suicide Squad’, never released in China.
Forbes, however, saw this coming as it issued a report that China, with 70,000+ theatres, had shut down screenings to stop the virus spread. The result was a 33% decrease in global box office revenue. Most releases were just halted keeping this in mind.
However, the last three DC outings, ‘Justice League’ ($657.9M), ‘Aquaman’ ($1.148B) and ‘Shazam!’ ($366M) have been successful and it shouldn’t come as a surprise the franchise is looking at bettering these numbers.
‘Wonder Woman’ in 2017 saw a healthy revenue at the BO with $821.8M and expert predictions are that the sequel would touch the billion mark again.
The next biggest factor is the rivalry the movie shared with ‘Black Widow’. Slated to release in May, the MCU Phase 4 flick starring Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz was one of the highly-anticipated films and had it not been for the pandemic, would have struck it rich at the BO.
BO predictions for ‘Black Widow’ were in the billion range. Again, no surprises there as ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ touched that mark effortlessly. With Disney delaying the film’s release, WB can sense a chance of some major success by releasing ahead of ‘Black Widow’.
It is still a risky move for WB and the DCEU. With the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, it’s just a lot of prayers for the franchise as they look at each day fervently hoping that virus outbreak will decrease so they could finally climb up the ladder.
For now, WB issued a statement that read: “When we greenlit ‘WW 1984’ it was with every intention to be viewed on the big screen and are excited to announce that Warner Bros. Pictures will be bringing the film to theatres on August 14th. We hope the world will be in a safer and healthier place by then.”
Gal Gadot, who reprises her role as the titular DC character, also shared her thoughts about the delayed release on Twitter. “In these dark and scary times, I am looking forward to a brighter future ahead,” she says.
“Where we can share the power of the cinema together again. Excited to redate our ‘WW84’ film to August 14, 2020. I hope everyone is safe. Sending my love to you all.”
Seconding her thoughts was director Jenkins. “We made ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ for the big screen and I believe in the power of cinema. In these terrible times, when theater owners are struggling as so many are, we are excited to re-date our film to August 14th, 2020 in a theater near you, and pray for better times for all by then,” she tweeted.
There was a treat for fans as well — a motion poster from the latest installment. Only time will tell how things will pan out for WB and DCEU. Hopefully, it is a gamble that pays off.