Wonder Woman 1984 will still play in theaters during the holiday season. The highly-anticipated sequel, however, will also play on HBO Max. Warner Bros. is releasing Patty Jenkins’ film in both theaters and on its new and fantastic streaming service.
The world has changed, and studios are changing along with it. “At some point you have to choose to share any love and joy you have to give, over everything else,” Jenkins confirmed. “We love our movie as we love our fans, so we truly hope that our film brings a little bit of joy and reprieve to all of you this holiday season.”
The news is more salt in the wound for theater chains. Audiences in need of entertainment, however, have something to look to on the holidays. Although AMC now gets a cut of Universal’s VOD sales, Warner Bros. hasn’t struck a similar deal with struggling theater chains. Since Wonder Woman 1984 will likely be watched most on HBO Max, AMC, Regal, and more won’t see as much profit from the Wonder Woman sequel as expected.
Warner Bros. didn’t want theaters, especially during a pandemic, to be the only option for DC fans and general audiences. “As we navigate these unprecedented times, we’ve had to be innovative in keeping our businesses moving forward while continuing to super-serve our fans,” said Ann Sarnoff, who’s the CEO of WarnerMedia. “This is an amazing film that really comes to life on the big screen and, working with our partners in the exhibition community, we will provide that option to consumers in the U.S. where theaters are open. We realize that a lot of consumers can’t go back to the movies due to the pandemic, so we also want to give them the option to see Wonder Woman 1984 via our HBO Max platform.”
Warner Bros. won’t charge HBO Max subscribers additional fees to watch the sequel. Disney, however, charged families $30 to rent Mulan on Disney+ during the pandemic. That film made over $300 million in a week on their streaming platform. As for Wonder Woman 1984, these were the primary reasons given for the HBO Max release:
1) The pandemic.
2) Our belief in the theatrical experience and, to that end, the importance of exhibitors.
3) Our mission to be strong and supportive partners to Patty, Gal, producer Chuck Roven and the entire Wonder Woman 1984 team.
4) And finally, the fans, which is where important decisions like this should always start and should always end.
The same decision wasn’t made for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. The studio released the film over the summer, when people were understandably too afraid to go to theaters. Although Tenet performed well overseas, it wasn’t a hit in the United States. Warner Bros. has already pushed back several 2020 films, including Wonder Woman 1984. The studio delayed the movie a handful of times.
Wonder Woman had a lot of joy, warmth, and fun to its spectacle. If the sequels packs a similar punch, Wonder Woman 1984 will brighten up the holidays for a lot of people in need of some levity. “We appreciate how patient audiences have been and given the great anticipation around Wonder Woman 1984 we are grateful to be able to make this terrifically entertaining movie widely available in these challenging times,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. It’s great news for comic book fans. The sequel, which looked to surpass the original film in terms of box-office, looks every bit as fun and adventurous as the first film. Thanks to Warner Bros., kids have another holiday gift to look forward to.
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