Warner Bros. announced this morning that the studio will push director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 from October 2 to December 25 on this year’s release calendar.
Barring more changes by Warner or other studios, the delay means that no major Hollywood tentpole after Tenet will open in cinemas worldwide until November 6, at the earliest, when Disney and Marvel Studios have Black Widow scheduled. Disney also has Pixar’s Soul on the calendar for November 20, the same day as MGM’s No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond.
While the studio did not mention any change to Dune‘s planned December 18 release date, the positioning of two major tentpoles back-to-back from the same studio creates stronger speculation that Denis Villeneuve’s big-budget adaptation could eventually vacate 2020 altogether. While holiday seasons are known for their ability to support more than one major title, it remains to be seen how the market will be faring later in the year. The same cautious outlook applies to November’s current three-tentpole calendar.
With Wonder Woman 1984‘s delay, the glass-half-full news here is that Tenet now has even longer window to play in theaters. Christopher Nolan’s latest film is hoping to post strong holds in the weeks ahead as part of a unique roll-out that the industry hopes will continue serving as a lifeline for moviegoing and exhibition until a more steady output of mainstream films arrives. The film opened to $20.2 million domestically last week, part of an overall $152.3 million global start.
With at least two months to play in as many auditoriums as it needs, including the lucrative premium formats, Tenet now has even more of a runway to attract returning moviegoers and wait for the reopening of major markets like New York, Los Angeles, and others.
The release slate isn’t entirely empty over the next eight weeks, though. Following Sony’s release of The Broken Hearts Gallery this weekend, STX has Greenland going on September 25. Sony return with the animated title Connected on October 23, the same day Disney / 20th Century Studios is planning to release Death on the Nile. A variety of other titles from non-major studios also have specialty and counter-programming titles on deck throughout the next two months.
UPDATE: Hours after Warner Bros. abandoned its October date for Wonder Woman 1984, Universal confirmed it will be moving Candyman, previously scheduled on October 16, 2020, to an unset date in 2021.