EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has learned that Warner Bros is making a slew of release-date changes next year. First of all, James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom needs more time in postproduction, so it’s moving from March 17, 2023 to December 25, 2023. You’ll remember the first Aquaman was released during Christmas 2018 and made $335.1 million domestic and worldwide is one of two $1 billion-grossing DC pics alongside Todd Phillips’ Joker.
To backfill that March 17 space, and also to capitalize on an Avatar-less March, David F. Sandberg’s Shazam: Fury of the Gods will be moving off its December 21 release date and heading to Aquaman 2‘s old date. Read: look how great The Batman was with its March opening at $134M and finaling at $369.3M.
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Another thing: Shazam 2 will have access to Imax screens on its new date, a premium-ticket format that Disney will otherwise be sopping up this December with Avatar: The Way of Water.
In addition, delivering on Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s promise to give movies a theatrical window, two titles originally destined for HBO Max will be opening on the big screen exclusively. That’s the Calmatic-directed, LeBron James-Maverick Carter produced reboot of New Line’s House Party opening on December 9 this year, and the Lee Cronin-directed Evil Dead Rise opening on April 21, 2023. That sequel’s trailer played gangbusters at CineEurope we hear, hence another reason why it will now hit cinemas.
Other big release dates: Warners will reignite the post-Labor Day box office period again in 2023 with Michael Chaves’ The Nun 2 on September 8; the first pic opened to $53.8M in 2018, the best domestic debut for The Conjuring franchise. The feature take of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot is going from April 21, 2023 to a TBD date next year; the pic is still in post.
Also, Warners has planted its flag in Super Bowl weekend with an untitled event film, dated for February 10, 2023.
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