With movie theaters in many parts of the world closed and large segments of the population stuck at home in quarantine, there has been much discussion about the best course of action for upcoming films. Should they push back release dates? Should they hope things get better? Or should they cut movie theaters out and sell directly to consumers via OnDemand or release early to streaming? Well, Warner Bros officially made the decision today to push back Wonder Woman 1984 and wait for cinemas to reopen. Along with the announcement, director Patty Jenkins also dropped a social media post affirming the movie’s commitment to being seen on the big screen.
So, a couple points of note here. First, I’m sure it’s not an accident that Patty Jenkins picked a graphic that included the words “Only In Theaters”, just it was obviously pointful that she started her statement by saying Wonder Woman 1984 was made for big screens. All of this is clearly meant as a show of support for the struggling movie theater industry. Second, it’s worth pointing out that this could be an absolutely tremendous opportunity for Wonder Woman 1984.
At some point, we are all going to attempt to return to normalcy. Movie theaters are going to be a big part of feeling that normalcy, and there’s a very real chance here that Wonder Woman 1984 could be the first big movie to welcome us all back to cinemas (and to the past). Not only could that put the film in a really good financial situation, it could also add an excitement around the release that wouldn’t be possible under ordinary circumstances. To put a finer point on it, if this is the movie that welcomes most people back to theaters for the first time, it could be an experience many remember for the rest of their lives. Why wouldn’t you want to be that movie?
The new release date chosen for Wonder Woman 1984 is August 14th. I think that’s a perfect timeframe. None of us know what the future might hold. There’s certainly a worst case scenario here in which we’re not mostly back to our regular lives at that point, but given what most experts are saying, that timeframe feels pretty safe. It’s wise to take a more conservative approach, push back to later in the summer and greatly increase the likelihood of hitting that release date.
I, for one, cannot wait to get out of my house and see Wonder Woman 1984 on the big screen, and if I have to wait for August to do that, I’m more than happy to wait, especially if they'll give me some more posters like this in the meantime.