‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Premiering on HBO Max and in Theaters on Christmas
For one weekend, at least, the name “HBO Max” will be apt.
That’s because after many delays, it appears that Wonder Woman 1984 — featuring Gal Gadot’s superhero in battle with Pedro Pascal’s Max Lord — will now premiere on HBO Max on Christmas, the same day it also premieres in theaters. The film was first scheduled to open in June, which proved impossible because of the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, it’s bounced around the release calendar more than bullets ricocheting off Wonder Woman’s magic bracelets. It got pushed to August, and then to October, and then to Christmas, where it will now open simultaneously in theaters and on streaming.
More, via Deadline:
A screenshot leaked online, and sources say it’s true. This is unprecedented for a big studio tentpole to hit streaming and theatrical at the same time –a bigger move than what Disney did with Mulan– and that’s because it’s a superhero franchise film, completely intended for theatrical release.
If Warner Bros. does indeed move forward with this plan, Wonder Woman 1984 would be the biggest blockbuster this year to go straight to streaming — or at least a day-and-date release with both theatrical and streaming. Other studios have experimented with streaming and PVOD releases for their summer 2020 blockbusters; Disney sold “premier access” to Mulan via their Disney+ streaming service for a $30 fee, and Universal offered Trolls World Tour for a similar price last spring. On the other end of the spectrum, Warner Bros. refused to put Christopher Nolan’s Tenet on demand and instead pushed ahead with a theatrical release at the end of summer.
After Tenet’s box office grosses proved lower than expectations in the U.S., most other major fall movies got pushed back to 2021 or beyond. Now Warner Bros. is trying something radically different with Wonder Woman 1984. How this news affects the rest of the delayed release calendar going forward will be a huge question mark in the months ahead. For now, HBO Max gets easily the biggest title in its history — and theaters are in even deeper trouble.
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