“Wonder Woman 1984” director Patty Jenkins promised that her eagerly awaited superhero sequel will definitely still open in theaters and not head directly to a streaming service.
In a Reuters interview on Wednesday, Jenkins said Warner Bros. is not considering a streaming-first release for her film and talked about the existential threat the coronavirus poses to movie theaters. She also urged the U.S. government to provide a financial lifeline to movie theaters struggling with pandemic-related shutdowns.
“I don’t think any of us want to live in a world where the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room, and not have a place to go for a date,” Jenkins said. “I really hope that we are able to be one of the very first ones to come back and bring that into everyone’s life.”
“Wonder Woman 1984,” Jenkins’ follow-up to her 2017 blockbuster “Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot that brought in $821.8 million worldwide, is currently slated for release on Christmas Day after being pushed back from its original release in June.
It’s one of only so many major studio movies actually opening in theaters in the remainder of 2020 after Cineworld announced that Regal Theaters in the U.S. and the U.K., approximately 600 locations, would be shut down temporarily after reopening in August with reduced capacity and safety protocols, despite little Hollywood blockbuster content.
About 70% of movie theaters in the country have reopened, but major markets including New York and Los Angeles remain closed. And “Wonder Woman” in particular earned $412.5 million, roughly half, of its gross from a domestic theatrical release, so she has an interest in seeing theaters reopen.
“If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process,” Jenkins said. “We could lose movie theater-going forever.”
She continued: “It could be the kind of thing that happened to the music industry, where you could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can’t be profitable.”
While DC and Warner Bros. left the release date for “Wonder Woman 1984” unchanged, it did bump back the release of many of its DC titles, including “The Batman,” “The Flash” “Shazam! 2” and “Black Adam.”