When it was announced that Warner Bros. was moving director Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN from October 2021 to March 4, 2022, a lot of fans were disappointed that it was being pushed back, again, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I for one was not.
In fact, I was quite happy that it happened.
I had been respectfully suggesting that Warner Bros. do just that for a good chunk of this almost-over-year; especially when they had to shut down production, again, not too long after resuming filming after the first 6 month hiatus caused by the pandemic.
My reasoning for advocating a 2022 release was based on the idea that it would be best for THE BATMAN to have plenty of time to complete filming as well as post-production without any rush
Secondly, I wasn’t too keen on a Batman movie being released in October (yes, I’m well-aware that JOKER made over $1 billion worldwide as a Fall release) and personally believed that a Summer-ish bow in 2022 would better suit a Batman film.
Finally, I figured that a 2022 drop offered the best chance for a theatrical-only opening-day/week/month/multi-month release of THE BATMAN.
When it comes to theaters in 2021, I don’t think folks will be going to see movies en masse and packing cinemas like sardine cans despite the fact we will be getting a lot of new films — including some BIG blockbusters — on the silver screen unlike 2020. Though it appears we humans here on planet Earth will finally be kicking the COVID-19 Pandemic’s ass (thanks to the new vaccines that will be available to us in 2021), the experts say we won’t be back to “normal” until the Summer or Fall.
As we know, Warner Bros. (or is it AT&T?) is trying to offset what they think will be another rough year for cinemas by releasing all — and I mean ALL — of their 2021 slate of films in theaters AND on HBO Max on the same day (with a 31 day on HBOM). Perhaps other studios will follow suit and simultaneously release their 2021 films the traditional way and via a streaming outlet by way of a deal with Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Netflix. Disney, of course, has Disney+ and has already gone that route with MULAN. Regardless, I don’t expect 2021 to be a tremendously successful year for the film business; but 2022 could be totally different.
Back to THE BATMAN, it appears as if it will not have the same fate as DUNE, THE SUICIDE SQUAD, GODZILLA VS. KONG, THE MATRIX 4, and the rest of Warner’s 2021 flicks.
In hindsight, we all should be thankful that THE BATMAN got pushed into 2022 as it now seems to have been a blessing in disguise. In fact, it just might end up being the first post-pandemic box office blockbuster. Just like Batman saves the citizens of Gotham, Batman can save the movie theater business.
Of course, all bets are off if Warner Bros. does to their 2022 releases as they are doing with the 2021 ones so AT&T can continue to prop up HBO Max. – Bill “Jett” Ramey
Filming of THE BATMAN is currently taking place in the UK. Follow BOF’s Everything About THE BATMAN Page. Make plans to attend BOF’s THE BATMAN Watch Party. THE BATMAN hits theaters on March 4, 2022.