Source: Warner Bros


Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros’ Dune: Part Two has become the latest feature to get pushed into 2024 due to the ongoing writers and actors strikes and will now open on March 15, 2024.

However Warner Bros is keeping its December trio intact. Wonka will open on December 15, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom on December 20, and The Color Purple on December 25.

Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi joins Sony’s Kraven The Hunter, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and MGM’s erstwhile Venice Film Festival opening night selection Challengers, two of the most high-profile completed features to get delayed while Hollywood waits for a resolution to the strikes when stars can return to promote their work.

Dune: Part Two stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya (who is the lead in Challengers and commands an Instagram following of 184m), Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, Souheila Yacoub, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem.

The studios regard all the cast members as essential to promoting the film and would want them to take part in what will most likely be a loud marketing campaign. The film will also open in Imax theatres.

March has been a productive release corridor for the companies on films like The Batman, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Kong: Skull Island. It is also a time to capture younger crowds during spring break.

The postponement means Legendary and Warner Bros’ Monsterverse franchise Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire will move back one month to April 12, 2024. That slot was occupied by New Line’s animated feature Lord Of The Rings: The War Of The Rohirrim which is moved to December 23, 2024. 

That time of year has been a fruitful one for Monsterverse releases in China, with Godzilla vs. Kong launching in late March 2021 and going on to earn $188.7m, and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters finishing on $135.4m in 2019.

Across Hollywood studios and distributors with late-year releases planned for potential awards contenders are approaching the phase when decisions have to be made about dating releases.

It is understood some will wait until the end of Venice, TIFF and Telluride to see the reaction to their films and make decisions in mid to late September.