Most upcoming major summer movies have been postponed. Summer is going to look a whole lot different at the movies, if movie theaters are open by summer that is. Due to the coronavirus, Warner Bros. has now pushed back their entire summer slate, including the highly-anticipated Wonder Woman 1984. Thankfully for Wonder Woman fans, the movie is still expected to come out this summer.
Wonder Woman Delay
It’s the second time Patty Jenkins’ comic book sequel has been delayed. The movie was supposed to come out last December, but it got pushed back to afford the filmmakers more time to finish it. A new June release date was scheduled, but now, Wonder Woman 1984 will come out on August 14th. Not for a second did Warner Bros. consider releasing the movie on a streaming. According to Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman, Toby Emmerich, it’s a movie made for theaters:
“When we greenlit ‘Wonder Woman 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 Aug. 14. We hope the world will be in a safer and healthier place by then.”
Why It’s Good for Theaters
Movie theaters, of course, would’ve lost their marbles if a studio such as Warner Bros. announced a streaming release for the sequel. Fans would far prefer the movie in theaters, anyway, but theater chains are already furious at Universal for releasing Trolls World Tour on streaming services next month. Throwing Wonder Woman 1984 on streaming would’ve been another deep blow to theater chains hurting at the moment. Plus, Warner Bros. needs theaters for what’s bound to be a mega hit.
For the most part, other major studios are doing the same. Studios such as Disney, Universal, and MGM aren’t interested in losing theatrical revenue and depriving theaters of movies they’ll need. Plus, for more expensive movies such as Mulan, No Time to Die, and Fast & Furious 9, studios need the global box-office.
A Sign of Trouble
The Wonder Woman 1984 delay is another sign of trouble for theaters, though. Although President Trump claims America will be “open for business” by April, studios don’t have faith in that suggestion. Warner Bros. clearly isn’t taking any chances. Summer is the biggest and most profitable moviegoing season of the year. Without any major movies to show in theaters this summer, if theaters do return, what will or can they show? Thankfully, Wonder Woman 1984 is still on track for summer, but most major May and June releases have been rescheduled. Right now, AMC expects to remain closed for the next six to twelve weeks. Theaters like the Arclight, Alamo Drafthouse, Cinemark, and Regal have no idea when they’ll be back in business.
Other Major Delays
The Wonder Woman sequel isn’t the only major title Warner Bros. has postponed. There’s James Wan’s Malignant, Scoob, and the musical, In the Heights. They have no new release dates as of yet. In the Heights was expected to be a real hit this summer. Lin-Manuel Maranda (Hamilton) musical directed by Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians)? That has success written all over it. Mirana commented on the delay on twitter:
“We had the best summer of our lives filming ‘In the Heights’ movie last year. We couldn’t wait to share it with you. But we’re going to have to wait a little longer. When we can safely gather again, flags in hand, we will be there, enjoying this movie in theaters.”
There’s still plenty of major titles scheduled for June and July. Christopher Nolan’s next film, Tenent, for example, remains in July. Warner Bros. fully intends on releasing the film in theaters on July 17th.