In a major reshuffling of its movie calendar, Warner Bros. has announced the postponement of some of its hotly-anticipated films, including ‘The Batman’ and ‘Dune.’ It’s yet another setback for the entertainment industry hit by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and social distancing measures that have closed theatres worldwide.
The release of ‘The Batman’ has been moved to early 2022 from October 2021. It hit a production setback recently when star Robert Pattinson tested positive for the coronavirus. The film has resumed shooting in the UK and is expected to wrap up by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Dennis Villanueve’s ‘Dune’ has been moved off this year’s calendar and into 2021. The sci-fi movie starring Timothy Chalamet, Zendaya and Jason Momoa will now be released on October 1st, 2021 — nearly a full year after the original December 18th release date.
Warner Bros. only has one major release left on its 2020 release calendar with ‘Wonder Woman 1984’.
Disney has also delayed many of its big films, including ‘Black Widow.’ Scarlett Johansson’s Marvel movie will now open in May 2021, instead of November 2020. It makes 2020 the first year without a Marvel Cinematic Universe film since 2009.
Earlier on Monday, Cineworld said it would temporarily shut down all of its US and UK movie theatres due to disappointing box office results and the postponement of films like ‘Black Widow’, ‘Wonder Woman 1984’, and the next James Bond film, ‘No Time to Die’.
The move from Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, means more than 7,000 movie screens will disappear for the foreseeable future. That loss has forced Warner Bros. and other film studios, to rethink their distribution strategy.