Wonder Woman 1984 Delayed Until Xmas. Are Movies still Viable with Coronavirus ?
The much-anticipated release of “Wonder Woman 1984” was pushed back to Christmas, marking a never-ending trend nowadays as the film industry grapples with its plans to return to theatres against the backdrop of an extraordinary global coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc around the world. And with a second wave of the pandemic ramping up in many countries, threatening a repeat of the draconian measures that were deployed In spring to quell the spread of the deadly virus, movie-going is under threat of becoming an “outdated” and “archaic” distribution model.
The superhero sequel starring Gal Gadot has shuffled along the calendar since March, when Warner Bros first announced it would be delaying the blockbuster from its initially planned release date of June to August 14. Ultimately, the hoped for summer release proved overly optimistic, and in mid-June the release date was once again pushed back to October 2.
And yet, even that date didn’t hold for long. In September, Warner Bros yet again announced it would be moving “Wonder Women 1984” to a later release date during the holiday season, pinpointing December 25th as its new chosen date.
Following the latest reshuffle, the movie’s director, Patty Jenkins, thanked fans of the film for their loyalty and patience, adding that the big screen experience will be well worth the wait.
“First and foremost, let me say how much Gal and I love all our devoted Wonder Woman fans around the world, and your excitement for ‘WW84’ couldn’t make us happier or more eager for you to see the movie.
Because I know how important it is to bring this movie to you on a big screen when all of us can share the experience together, I’m hopeful you won’t mind waiting just a little bit longer. With the new date on Christmas Day, we can’t wait to spend the holidays with you!”
Gal Gadot was only paid $300,000 for ‘WONDER WOMAN’.
She was reportedly paid $10 million for ‘WONDER WOMAN 1984’.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) October 13, 2020
Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich also added, “We’re very proud of the film and look forward to bringing it to audiences for the holidays.”
Emmerich praised Patty Jenkins work on the film too, saying “Patty is an exceptional filmmaker and with ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ she has delivered an incredibly dynamic film that moviegoers of all ages around the world will absolutely love,”
Whether “Wonder Woman 1984” will indeed hit theatres during the festive Christmas season or be pushed back yet again or, for that matter, even make the cut for nomination to the 2021 Oscars up in the air.
Like the proverbial can being kicked down the road of uncertainty, studios have been grappling with these unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The real danger presented by a second wave threatening to overwhelm many countries around the world, means movie-going could be unsustainable in 2020, if not beyond.
Wonder Woman 1984 already joins a long list of movies that have been reshuffled, postponed or cancelled on the release calendar for 2020, including the latest edition of James Bond, “No Time To Die” and “Marvel’s Black Widow”, to name a few.
Separately, some big films, like Disney’s Mulan, or Tom Hank’s thriller “Greyhound”, and Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods”, among many others, have altogether skipped their scheduled theatre runs and gone straight to streaming services instead.
The decision for studios to take such a course was made possible by the Academy temporarily changing eligibility rules to allow movies that skipped theatre release dates and went straight to digital to qualify for Oscars consideration – but for one year only.
Increasingly, streaming is proving to be the preferred trend by studios and viewers, but it’s one that is at great odds with traditional theatre-moviegoing, which has been undermined by the public health crisis. Not only is the film industry today struggling to remain viable after the first wave of the global coronavirus pandemic brought it to its knees, but also theatres are suffering due to virus-mandated edits, such as social distancing, and bans on mass gatherings.
Although cinemas have reopened across the United States and in many other countries around the world, the knock-on effect is seeing record-low attendance with theatres struggling to entice reluctant and wary audiences to fill their empty seats. And the cumulative effect of decreasing box office sales in the first three-quarters of 2020 means that box office sales are on pace for historic lows.