Wonder Woman 1984‘s theatrical release is in debate due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak.
The current COVID-19 situation has movie theaters closed across the world, and many studios are either postponing their new releases or moving them to premiere on view-on-demand. Warner Bros is discussing whether to release their latest DC movie Wonder Woman 1984 to a streaming, while the most recent victim of release date postponement is another comic book movie, Black Widow.
The discussion is still at an early stage, according to a new report by TheWrap. WB pictures chairman Toby Emmerich is having a confined debate with his top advisers on moving WW84 to digital as many studios already pulled their new releases in March, April, and May. Director Patty Jenkins and producer Charles Roven were apparently not notified initially about this discussion.
The Fate of Wonder Woman 1984
Warner Bros’ priority is to still release Wonder Woman 1984 in theatres, but considering the nature of Coronavirus pandemic, it’s unclear when all things will return to normal and how all studios are going to plan a proper reschedule of their delayed movies.
Because of this, it will be difficult to WB to release WW84 as scheduled on June 5. So it is understandable that WB executives are concerned about the release, and now those executives are considering an alternative for streaming – most likely as a direct consumer offering and not as a part of their new streaming service HBO Max, which is launching soon.
The two comments that The Wrap received are immediately shot down the idea of the digital release. The WB’s Domestic distribution head Jeff Goldstein told the trade, “We’re looking to release the movie theatrically, that’s our plan”. Then the producer Roven added, “It’s ludicrous if you consider how big a movie this is, ” and also said, “Everybody recognizes that, as interesting as streaming might be, if you want a huge, global worldwide box office, you’ve got to release it in a movie theater.”
All movies which are released in recent times are being moved early on VOD like The Invisible Man, The Hunt, Emma, Birds of Prey, The Gentleman, Bloodshot, The Way Back. Unlike these Universal studios recently moved their upcoming Trolls World Tour movie directly to VOD on April 10 without any theatrical release for a 48hr rental fee of $19.99. The Universal move already raised concerns about other studio releases.
The best option is still to postpone the release of the movie because a DC comic book movie is a huge box office draw especially considering it is a Wonder Woman movie and the first one which was released in 2017 grossed $822 million at the worldwide box office with a budget between $120 and $150 million. The budget of the sequel is expected to be around $200 million and if it is released on VOD it will not generate much revenue or profit as it would have if it is released theatrically. This film is expected to hit a billion at the global box office.
Update: WB confirmed to IndieWire that Wonder Woman 1984 will get a full theatrical release.
Since WB wants to move ahead with a theatrical release, the film is most likely to shift its release date. But an official announcement is not yet done. So we have to wait and see if the movie theaters return to normal state by June or else the movie has to be postponed.
Are you excited for Wonder Woman 1984? Do you want WB to move this film to VOD or you want to wait until it hit theatres? What other movies do you hope to make their way to your home? Let us know in the comments below.