With the Omicron variant surging, studios have to figure out if their tentpole releases will keep their current release dates or have to shift to come out when the pandemic surge isn’t as bad. Warner Bros. is facing this issue with the March release of The Batman and it’s something they’re paying close attention to as its March 4th release date approaches.
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is assuring comic book movie fans that The Batman is still sticking with its March 4, 2022, release date but also says they are keeping their eye on the pandemic. During a chat with Puck News Kilar said, “We’re certainly paying attention to everything going on with omicron. We feel good about the date right now. We’re gonna watch it day by day.” That might not be the surefire “we’re definitely not moving the date” that some fans were hoping for but it does show some optimism that the Omicron variant may level off before March.
The reason some fans have wondered if the release date would change is that Sony Pictures recently delayed the January release of Morbius until April 1, 2022, while Disney has decided to skip theaters with Pixar’sTurning Red for a launch on Disney+. The media narrative has been that Morbius moved because of the Omicron surge but this isn’t something that was explicitly confirmed by Sony. As for Turning Red, there could be some concern that families may be reluctant to catch the latest Pixar effort on the big screen but the box office returns for Sing 2 show that they’re willing to for the right film.
The Batman will have an exclusive 45-day theatrical window before becoming available on HBO Max. Their day-and-date release strategy for their 2021 release slate ended with The Matrix Resurrections, which was likely hurt a bit at the box office by its availability on the streamer. That being said, WarnerMedia thinks the strategy ultimately paid off because HBO Max beat forecasts and ended 2021 with 73.8 million subscribers. Kilar said, “It’s hard to argue; we made the right decision. We served the customers, the fans. We partnered with theaters; we were the only ones to provide 18 theatrical features with full marketing spends and full global theatrical releases. And we worked with our [talent] participants to make sure they were taken care of.”
Do YOU think The Batman will keep its current release date? The Batman is scheduled to hit screens on March 4, 2022.