Warner Bros. opted to move the release of Wonder Woman 1984 to Dec. 25th as movie studios continue to tinker with scheduling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The superhero sequel was lined up for an October 2nd release, but sources told Variety that the recent performance of Tenet may have influenced Wonder Woman’s move.
The oft-delayed Tenet finally premiered in theaters over Labor Day and BoxOfficeMojo reports the films took in a modest $20 million from nearly 3,000 open theaters. The combination of fewer open theaters and reduced capacity at each screening most likely affected those totals and it’s possible moving Wonder Woman 1984 to December is an attempt to set the film up for a better chance at box office success. For comparison, 2017’s Wonder Woman premiered in over 4,000 theaters and pulled in $103 million in its first weekend.
Of course, other studios have opted to forgo theaters and release new films via streaming, such as Trolls World Tour and Disney’s recent Mulan, which supplemented limited theater openings with its Premier Access pricing on Disney+. But it seems Warner Bros. is still eyeing a traditional movie theater release for its big-name movies. In any case, it’s likely we’ll see even more scheduling changes as the entertainment world continues to adjust to current events. Warner Bros. also has the upcoming sci-fi epic Dune currently set to premiere on Dec. 18. That’s just ahead of Wonder Woman 1984, but it’s entirely possible that film will be pushed to 2021 to avoid competing with each other.
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