The team at Warner Bros. Discovery has doubled down on a scorched-earth strategy to cut costs in recent months, and it’s even impacting some of their upcoming tentpole film releases. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company is so low on money that it’s pushed back the release dates of two movies, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, in order to spread out the costs associated with marketing and distribution.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was originally slated to drop on March 17th, 2023, but it has now been delayed to December 25th, 2023. Meanwhile, Fury of the Gods now has the former movie’s original March release date after initially being slated for a December 2022 release.
With Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods pushed further into 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery is now set to only release two major pictures this year: Don’t Worry Darling (out September 23rd) and Black Adam (out October 21st).
Other changes to Warner Bros. Discovery’s theatrical calendar include House Party and Evil Dead Rise, which were previously destined for HBO Max. The former film will arrive on December 9th, 2022, while the latter follows on April 21st, 2023. The Nun 2 has also received a release date of September 8th, 2023. The horror flick Salem’s Lot, meanwhile, has been taken off Warner Bros. Discovery’s calendar altogether, with no new release date announced. It was originally supposed to come out on April 21st, 2023.
The company also has a slew of holiday movies set to be released straight to HBO Max this winter: The remake A Christmas Story Christmas will begin streaming on November 17th, Holiday Harmony and A Christmas Mystery on November 24th, and A Hollywood Christmas on December 1st.
News of WBD’s calendar shifting comes after reports that the company lost $20 billion in market cap in recent months despite trying to save $3 billion overall. CEO David Zaslav’s main strategy in finding that $3 billion has been to shelve projects completely. First, Warner Bros. Discovery decided to shut down CNN+, then resolved that it would not release its Batgirl film on any platform, despite the finished project costing a whopping $90 million.
Additionally, over 200 classic episodes of Sesame Street have disappeared from HBO Max, and a new animated Batman series won’t make it to the streamer at all. HBO Max has since tried to make up for its massive loss of content by offering a 30% discount on annual subscriptions.