Exhibitors have been hit very hard during the coronavirus pandemic, and were banking on Christopher Nolan’s Tenet to provide a much-needed boost for business. This was the first real litmus test to gauge how willing audiences are to see new releases on the big screen amidst a health crisis. In spite of their hopes, Tenet, hasn’t done well at all, making just $10 million its first weekend.
Now with Disney opting to drop its $200 million Mulan remake on Disney+ (for a fee), and now Sony Pictures confirming this week that they wouldn’t release any big-budget movies until all theaters have returned to standard capacity, we learned on Friday that Wonder Woman 1984 is delaying its release again, this time from Oct. 2 to Dec. 25 as the U.S. box office struggles to recover amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The shift doesn’t impact the Dec. 18 date for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which Warner Bros. is releasing on behalf of Legendary. Wonder Woman‘s delay is a major blow for theater owners, since there now won’t be a new Hollywood tentpole hitting the big screen until November.
Warner insiders say they reached the decision amid the ongoing uncertainty as to when cinemas in such major markets such as New York City and Los Angeles will reopen. As of now, about 35 percent of the domestic marketplace remains dark in terms of moviegoing.