Three Studios, Three Strategies: How Covid-19 Turned Film Releases Into a Free-for-All

With “Wonder Woman 1984,” Warner Bros.

is experiencing deja vu.

Once again, they see exhibitors and the press holding their collective breath over a $200 million tentpole; once again, like “Tenet” before it, the film is becoming less a symbol of entertainment and more of a return to normalcy at theaters.All of that adds tremendous gravity to any decision Warners makes, whether it keeps it at Christmas (very unlikely), adds home viewing options after a short window, or delays the film for months down the line.

The lone certainty is that without significant films in December, and with a surge of Covid-19 cases, theaters face yet another existential crisis.Warners’ strategy will reflect its own internal realities, and therein lies the difference.

Before Covid-19, in most cases most studios would make similar decisions in handling their top films’ releases.

That is no longer true.PVOD is an option for any studio,

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