‘Wonder Woman 1984’ and ‘Dune’ Likely to Be Delayed

These are bad news for everybody.


After receiving official numbers from Tenet‘s box office performance over its first two weeks globally and its opening weekend in the US, IndieWire is reporting that Warner Bros. is concerned about their next two high-profile pictures, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. None of them included their release dates in the previews or the social media posts.


Tenet just crossed the $150 million mark worldwide, but its opening weekend in the US, $20 million, also took into account all the previews and early screenings that happened all across the country days before its release. IndieWire is also saying that these previews did not bring in a substantial amount to the box office, so the opening weekend number was actually much lower. Let’s also remember that 25% of the US was not able to see the movie, and that includes big movie markets like New York and Los Angeles.


As of today, it is impossible to predict whether these two regions will be able to open their theaters in October, so they might not even be able to show Wonder Woman 1984, which is another $200 million investment for Warner Bros. (and that’s just counting the production budget).


Dune is still three months away, so a lot can happen before that. However, I would imagine that if Wonder Woman 1984 moves, it would relocate to December 18, 2020, which is when Villeneuve’s epic is slated to come out. IndieWire has not mentioned this, but it would make sense. The reality is that Warner Bros. needs to make north of $500 million to break even on Tenet, and that number is still far away, and there is no reason to expect Wonder Woman 1984 to perform any better when it debuts in October.


Obviously, there is no precedent for a situation like this one, and some believe that if it plays long enough in theaters, Tenet could very slowly but surely climb up to that breaking-even point. We will have a better sense of this by Monday, when the actuals for the movie’s second weekend in the US come out. Let’s remember that the first-to-second-week drop usually sits around 50%, so if Tenet manages to bring in more than $10 million, we should consider it a success, especially taking into account that it didn’t make $20 million between September 4-6, but rather August 30-September 6.


Other big releases for the next few months include Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, which is also expected to be delayed again, and Pixar’s Soul, which could get the Premium Access treatment that Mulan got, especially since Disney is considering this last move to be a success. In addition, No Time to Die is expected to hold its November 12, 2020, release date, since it might make as much as 75% of its box office in global markets.