Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Monstrous Slate: Warner Bros. Beefs Up Event Schedule, Dates Giant Monster Films
Warner Bros. is clinging onto the tentpole-mania plan of theirs...
After Batman v Superman dropped like a rock on its second and third weekends, WB freaked. Their plan is to eliminate most mid-budget and small, homemade projects, and move on with franchise and tentpole films... Even though the latest one from them has let down and the future ones are arguably uncertain. They'll make an exception for "favorite" directors of theirs, like Christopher Nolan and Ben Affleck. They are taking a page from Disney, who are currently having almost nothing but success with that model.
In the ensuing weeks, more and more "Untitled WB Event Films" have been slated. Now a new one has been added to 2018, and they intend to open that picture on Christmas Day... The same day Disney will release an untitled live-action picture (presumably A Wrinkle in Time or something similar, as that one is specifically not a "live-action fairy tale")...
On the giant monster front, Godzilla vs. Kong finally has a concrete release date: May 29, 2020. The sequel to Gareth Edward's 2014 Godzilla has also been pushed back; originally set for summer 2018, it's now hitting theaters March 22, 2019. Kong: Skull Island is keeping its spring 2017 date, and hopefully we get a trailer for that soon. Maybe before a WB summer release? The Legend of Tarzan, maybe?
I actually really liked Edwards' take on the King of the Monsters, despite some elements that didn't quite work (the leads), but what it did right, it did really, really right in my eyes. Godzilla opened with a king-sized $93 million, but its legs were abysmal. It only made 2.1x its opening, word-of-mouth was toxic. It's lucky it made $200 million in the end and topped $500 million worldwide... It's weird because when I saw it opening weekend, the audience applauded four times throughout! They dug it, but I guess many others didn't. I remember nothing but complaints about how little Godzilla is in the film and whatnot... That's what I loved about it. Less monster, more suspense and mystery!
The recent date for Godzilla v Kong has effected whatever DC will release in the summer of 2020. The film in question - which many assume is Green Lantern Corps - has moved from 6/19/2020 to 7/24/2020. Better, because Pixar is opening a currently-untitled film on that day, and if the DCEU miraculously gets some serious traction (Justice League is looking very do-or-die right now) before 2020, it would be nice to give the Pixar film - if it's an original - some breathing room.
So now, Warner Bros.' slate of potential blockbusters, post-2016...
02/10/2017 - The Lego Batman Movie
03/10/2017 - Kong: Skull Island
03/24/2017 - Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur - Guy Ritchie's delayed take on the story.
06/02/2017 - Wonder Woman
07/21/2017 - Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk
08/11/2017 - CHiPs
09/22/2017 - Ninjago
10/13/2017 - Blade Runner 2
11/17/2017 - Justice League, Part One
02/09/2018 - Untitled Warner Animation
03/02/2018 - Untitled "Event"
03/16/2018 - Untitled DC (presumably The Flash)
03/30/2018 - Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One
05/18/2018 - The Lego Movie Sequel
07/27/2018 - Untitled DC (presumably Aquaman)
09/21/2018 - S.C.O.O.B.
10/05/2018 - Untitled DC
10/19/2018 - Andy Serkis' Jungle Book adaptation
11/16/2018 - Fantastic Beasts 2
12/25/2018 - Untitled Event
03/22/2019 - Godzilla 2
04/05/2019 - Untitled DC (presumably Shazam)
05/24/2019 - Untitled Warner Animation
06/14/2019 - Untitled DC (presumably Justice League, Part Two)
11/01/2019 - Untitled DC
04/03/2020 - Untitled DC (presumably Cyborg)
05/29/2020 - Godzilla vs. Kong
07/24/2020 - Untitled DC (presumably Green Lantern Corps)
11/20/2020 - Fantastic Beasts 3
In addition to that, some big stuff is in development, projects that could arguably fill the "Event" film slots. Stuff like Tomb Raider, Rampage, San Andreas 2, and so on... Maybe Mad Max 5? George Miller seems to be another "favorite" director there too, as he should be. Miller's plan is to do a small-scale movie before returning to the wasteland, so who knows right now. Fury Road was a Herculean task in itself, so...
Either way, Warner Bros. is clearly going all in at this point. Will it all work out? Who knows!
What say you?