Bill & Ted fans have been waiting almost three decades to see the Wyld Stallyns return to theaters, and their collective patience was due to pay off in August this year when Bill & Ted Face the Music touches down. But that was before the coronavirus crisis brought far-reaching changes to the movie industry.
According to CNN Business, the third Bill & Ted film is a prime candidate for a straight-to-digital launch as movie studios continue to streamline their theatrical release schedule in response to the pandemic’s disruptive impact. While blockbuster juggernauts such as Wonder Woman 1984 and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet are deemed too big to bypass cinemas altogether, this is not thought to be the case for Face the Music.
In the report, Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations, cites the relative lack of promotion for Bill & Ted Face the Music as evidence that it could be heading for streaming services. After all, if the studio was planning a theatrical release this summer, there’s a good chance we would have seen at least a teaser trailer by now.
“We just don’t know at this point what the world will look like in June and July, but what we do know is if studios are planning to release these films in theaters, they’d have to begin advertising them right now. That’s more money that they might be risking. That’s why some of these films make a lot of sense going straight to digital.”
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It would be a shame to see Bill & Ted Face the Music relegated to a digital release as the upcoming sequel is a huge deal, as far as the fans are concerned. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are, of course, reprising the roles they made famous in the previous two films, William Saddler is back as Death and Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot is helming. Make no mistake, this isn’t some direct-to-DVD production that’s destined only for gas station bargain bins.
That said, the lack of any promotion is by no means confirmation that the movie will skip theaters. No doubt the studio are just biding their time and gauging how many movie tickets are likely to be sold this summer amid COVID-19 uncertainty.