Wonder Woman 2 has shifted its release date to November 1, 2019. The film is the sequel to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, which became a phenomenon earlier this year when it earned the best reviews in the DC Extended Universe’s young history and grossed $821.7 million at the worldwide box office. Thanks to Gal Gadot’s earnest portrayal as the titular Amazonian princess and a tone that deftly balanced comedy and drama, the origin story was a breath of fresh air for the comic book movie genre and made Diana a main figure in the franchise. A sequel was quickly confirmed, with Jenkins collecting quite the payday to return.
Originally, Warner Bros. had scheduled Wonder Woman 2 for release on December 13, 2019, but that was well before Lucasfilm shifted Star Wars: Episode IX to the 2019 holiday season once J.J. Abrams replaced Colin Trevorrow as director on that project. Many assumed WB/DC would look to move their tentpole to a less competitive frame, and that’s exactly what has happened, according to THR.
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The November 1, 2019 date was previously reserved for a mystery untitled DC Comics film, so WB had already staked this weekend out for themselves. What will become of the movie they initially intended to release in that window remains to be seen, but Wonder Woman 2 should be in good shape for a fruitful, lengthy box office run. Though the first film was immensely popular with fans and critics, it simply is not a smart business decision to take on the culmination of the Star Wars sequel trilogy head-to-head. In 2015, The Force Awakens rewrote the box office record books by earning $936 million domestically, and this December’s The Last Jedi is projected to earn more than $200 million in its opening weekend. We may be living in the Golden Age of superhero cinema, but the galaxy far, far away is still king.
Though Star Wars was obviously a key contributing factor to this movie, THR indicates Marvel’s success in November might have also played a role. Thor: Ragnarok debuted in the United States on November 3, 2017, earning a franchise-best $121 million in its first three days. Couple that with the performance of Doctor Strange last year ($232.6 million domestically), it’s clear the first weekend of November is a lucrative period for comic book adaptations. It goes without saying Wonder Woman 2 should be able to find much success in the fall, far away from Rey.
While Wonder Woman 2 has its opening weekend all to itself, it will still face some stiff competition in November. It’s premiering only a week before Bond 25 opens, and there’s also an Untitled Fox/Marvel blockbuster planned for release on November 22, 2019. Franchises are more and more prevalent in Hollywood these days, with studios looking for ideal placement for their biggest films. It’ll be interesting to see if any further release date changes come about in the wake of the Wonder Woman news, but for now, November 2019 will bear much resemblance to June.