Aquaman 2 Swims To Christmas 2023 And Evil Dead Rise Heads To Theaters As Warner Bros. Shuffles Schedule

As of late, the fate of the DC Extended Universe (among many other things) has been in peril thanks to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. However, the latest news is relatively tame considering what has happened to projects like "Batgirl," "Batman: Caped Crusader," and "Aquaman: King of Atlantis."

According to Deadline, James Wan's "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" requires additional time in post-production, likely due to the recent reshoots, so the highly anticipated sequel's release date has been pushed back yet again to a December 25, 2023 release date, after previously being set for a March 2023 release. Christmas has proven to be profitable for the monarch of the seven seas as the character's 2018 solo outing starring Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II collected $335.1 million at the domestic box office and became one of two DC films to gross $1 billion worldwide.

With the "Aquaman" riding the wave into 2023, a number of other films have been shuffled around to make up for the newly vacant spot in the release schedule, including another long-gestating DC project.

Shuffling the deck

To fill the void left by the aquatic Justice League teammate, David F. Sanberg's "Shazam: Fury of the Gods" will now be released on March 17, 2023, presumably taking advantage of the vacant IMAX screens that are now available on that date. In Billy Batson's previous release window, the premium ticket sales would have been dominated by "Avatar: The Way of Water."

Next year will also see two films that were originally slated for HBO Max getting a theatrical release date. Lee Cronin's "Evil Dead Rise" has been set for April 21, 2023 and Lebron James' reboot of "House Party" will now open in theaters on December 9, 2023.

Meanwhile, "The Nun 2," the next installment of "The Conjuring" franchise from Michael Chaves, has also been scheduled for September 8, 2023. Finally, while everything discussed so far has just been rescheduled, the upcoming Stephen King adaptation "Salem's Lot" has been taken off the calendar entirely, leaving its April 21, 2023 spot vacant for now.

While these moves may seem positive for the most part, they also reflect the messy financial state of Warner Bros. Discovery at the moment. With plummeting stocks since Zaslav took over, The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit notes that these schedule changes indicate that the studio may only have enough money to release two movies between now and the end of 2022: "Don't Worry Darling" and "Black Adam." Naturally, this should be taken with a grain of salt, but with all the company's cost-cutting measures making headlines lately, it certainly makes sense. We'll be sure to report on any additional changes as they come up.