Will Wonder Woman make her return to the big-screen return this December?
We have been waiting to hear exactly what Warner Bros. intends to do with regards to their much delayed DC comic-book film sequel ‘Wonder Woman 1984‘. As everyone is aware, the film has been shunted around the release schedules fairly regularly, even being delayed from opening last year, and has seen its release moved about again this year thanks to the coronavirus epidemic. It currently still holds its date of opening December 25th but with the rise of COVID-19 cases in the United States and around several parts of the world, it seems unfeasible to release what Warners know is going to be a $1billion+ box office return. But what are they going to do with something THAT big? They tried to release ‘Tenet‘ into open theatres and the international box office numbers give some credence to their release strategy. But its domestic takings were not what Warner Bros. needed or expected from the release. In fact, it could be argued that it ‘tanked’. So where does that leave ‘Wonder Woman‘?
If the rumors are to be believed then an answer MAY be insight. It is understood that the executives are considering one of two options. The first is the more logical one in my opinion as it would see the film removed from its Christmas Day release and pushed back to a summer 2021 release instead. This is what would be the better option for Warner Bros. as it would see the film in its rightful kind of release slot and would almost certainly guarantee that the film would hit and probably exceed the $1billion mark at the world’s box offices. Again, if you believe what is being reported then by that time, a vaccine against COVID-19 will be available. Of course, it isn’t a complete cure but it would go some way to making going to the movies a lot safer and would manage to get the doors open at the world’s cinemas, giving us a massive influx of top-quality entertainment which ‘Wonder Woman 1984‘ would be a big part of.
The second option to me is a dead duck. This option would see the film released in a limited capacity, the same as ‘Tenet‘ at the theatres around the world that are actually open but operating at a hugely reduced capacity before putting the film onto HBO MAX from January. Excuse me? What? That is a stupid idea in my eyes. For one thing, it will rob the world of seeing the movie where it deserves to be seen, on the silver screen. The other is Warners would lose a hell of a lot of revenue by doing this. Sure, they could boost the subscriber numbers up for the HBO Max service but come on. Do they really think that a release window of at most, three weeks before dumping the movie onto a streaming site is the way to go? What about the rest of the world who don’t have access to HBO Max or their content? Ok, so there are plans to give these countries, including the United Kingdom I may add, a theatrical release of ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League‘ as we don’t have access to HBO Max but what are Warners plans for the rest of the world if they go that route with ‘Wonder Woman‘? A PVOD release is an option but no thanks, I’d rather see it as it was intended to be seen, even if I have to wait until June or July of next year as is being banded about.
One thing that is heartening to hear is the statement from a Warner Bros. executive a little while back. While they wouldn’t comment on the rumors at the time, they did give us the words “WW84 will be in theatres”. I really hope they stick with that and allow the film to flourish in its rightful environment next year when the situation with the pandemic will be more clear and fingers crossed, much safer to visit a theatre to watch a movie. We know the film won’t miss the cinemas of the world entirely but with less than six weeks to go before release, Warner Bros. needs to make their choice of action for ‘Wonder Woman 1984‘ pretty quickly. I just hope they choose the right one.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!