Inside the Decision to Delay ‘Wonder Woman 1984,’ and What It Means for ‘Dune’

     September 11, 2020

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Warner Bros. is moving Wonder Woman 1984 off its Oct. 2 date and will now release the superhero sequel on Christmas Day — just one week after the studio unveils Dune.

A studio insider told Collider that the muted box office performance of Tenet this past weekend did not play a factor in the decision, and that Warners had been looking at the Christmas corridor for some time, believing that the holiday frame could easily support two tentpoles, and pointing to the success of 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle despite the presence of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the marketplace.

Since WB released the latest WW84 trailer, sources say the sequel has been tracking at the highest levels across all metrics, but that with 30 percent of markets still closed — including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco — it only made sense to shift the release date.

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Image via Warner Bros.

Patty Jenkins directed Wonder Woman 1984, which brings back Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, and introduces Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal.

Meanwhile, Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune arrives on Dec. 18, so it’ll have one week in theaters before WW84 begins vacuuming up its audience, though with fewer films being released this Christmas, Dune could very well have legs, especially if word-of-mouth is positive.

Dune boasts an all-star cast including Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson and Dave Bautista, so it should fare well, especially with younger audiences eager for a sci-fi fix.

As for Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet, it opened to $20 million at the domestic box office this past weekend, which was in line with expectations given the circumstances. Tenet has theaters all to itself, for the most part, for the next couple months, so it should be fine in the long run, and the film served an important purpose in reinvigorating the theatrical business amid the pandemic. For more on Tenet‘s box office performance, click here.

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