Patty Jenkins, whose Wonder Woman 1984 has been delayed three times during the pandemic, has fired a warning that the big screen experience is fighting for its life amid continued disruption to the film slate and a lack of government support.
“This will not be a reversible process. We could lose movie theater-going forever,” she said in an interview with Reuters.
Her comments follow news this week that major exhibitor Cineworld, which owns the U.S. Regal chain, is temporarily closing all of its sites again in response to ongoing difficulties, particularly in major markets such as New York which has yet to allow venues to re-open. That has prompted further significant delays to the film slate, including crucially Bond movie No Time To Die moving out of its November slot to April 2, 2021.
Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled for December 25 this year. The director said a streaming route was not being considered for her movie, despite Disney taking that action with Mulan.
Jenkins also suggested that the troubles could lead studios to focus more on streaming and pay less attention to the theatrical arena in the future. “It could be the kind of thing that happened to the music industry,” she said, “Where you could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can’t be profitable.”
Without government intervention, Jenkins warned that we could end up living in a world where “the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room”.