Source: Warner Bros. | DC Comics
The release dates for the sequels to “Aquaman” and “Shazam” are being shuffled, as Warner Bros. Discovery seeks to cut costs following its pricey merger.
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which was slated for Dec. 21, has been pushed to March 17, 2023. “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” which was set to debut on that March date is now arriving on Christmas Day in 2023.
The release date shifts comes amid a tumultuous time for the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery. CEO David Zaslav has been ramping up cost-cutting measures in recent weeks, including layoffs and content eliminations from streaming service HBO Max.
This includes shelving the $90 million “Batgirl” flick that was set to debut on the platform as well as removing nearly 200 “Sesame Street” episodes and dozens of other shows.
It’s likely that the shift of the “Shazam” and “Aquaman” sequels are part of a similar strategy. Marketing theatrical releases is costly, so WarnerBros. Discovery is likely looking to spread out these tentpole releases across two years.
After all, the Dwayne Johnson-led “Black Adam” is set to hit theaters Oct. 21. So instead of having three major DC films released within the span of six months, Warner Bros. Discovery will have five in 14 months. “The Flash” hits theaters June 23, 2023 and “Blue Beetle” arrives August 18, 2023.
Other changes to Warner Bros. Discovery’s release calendar includes dating “House Party” for Dec. 9, 2022, “Evil Dead Rise” for April 21, 2023 and “The Nun 2” for Sept. 8, 2023.
“Salem’s Lot,” which was due out April 21, 2023 is now no longer on the release calendar.