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Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984

These days, announcing a movie is being delayed isn’t as big of news as it used to be, as the current health crisis has resulted a lot of scheduling changes over the last six months. Wonder Woman 1984 is among the movies that have been pushed back several times, with the current plan being for it to come out at the end of December. In the meantime, director Patty Jenkins is advocating for movie theaters to receive some much-needed assistance in these troubling times.

Patty Jenkins is among the many Hollywood directors who are appealing for the U.S government to financially help out the movie theater industry, with Jenkins believing that without this kind of aid, it could spell the end for people going to the theater to enjoy movies. As the filmmaker explained to Reuters:

If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process. We could lose movie theater-going forever. It could be the kind of thing that happened to the music industry, where you could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can’t be profitable. I don’t think any of us want to live in a world where the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room, and not have a place to go for a date.

The movie theater industry’s trouble began in mid-March, when the pandemic started to become widespread, resulting in multiplexes swiftly closing down and movies like Onward and Bloodshot having their big screen runs cut short. While drive-in theaters experienced surges in attendance in the months afterwards, it’s only within the last couple months that traditional theaters have started to reopen.

Alas, while theatrical attendance in some international territories has started to improve, movie theaters in the United States and various other countries aren’t anywhere near out of the proverbial woods yet. While a few new movies like Tenet and The New Mutants eventually made their way to big screens, studios are continuing to push back movies, and Cineworld announced earlier this week that it’s closing its Regal Cinemas locations in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Ireland. Fellow chains AMC and Cinemark are still chugging along, but there’s no question that the theatrical industry is in danger, with the National Association of Theater Owners saying that 69% of small and mid-sized cinema companies could either file for bankruptcy or permanently close.

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Patty Jenkins isn’t the only high-profile figure in Hollywood who’s expressed concerns about the future of movie theaters lately. In late September, Ben Affleck posited that mid-budget movies, akin to his directorial offerings The Town and Argo, might all go straight to streaming in the future, with only “big IP movies” like Star Wars and Avengers playing in theaters.

Speaking of streaming, plenty of movies that were supposed to play in theaters this year ended up being moved straight to VOD or streaming, the latest example being Soul, which will be available on Disney+ starting December 25. However, that won’t be happening with Wonder Woman 1984, with Patty Jenkins saying back in March that Diana of Themyscira’s next movie was made to be seen on the big screen.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news about how the state of movie theaters. Wonder Woman 1984 is currently set to arrive on December 25, but we’ll also keep you informed if the sequel is pushed agin. For now, find out what other DC movies are on the way with our handy guide.

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