- Warner Bros. announced that Wonder Woman 1984 would launch simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas Day in the US.
- The Wonder Woman sequel will be streaming online for a full month but won’t require additional purchase.
- Access to a regular HBO Max subscription will get anyone access to Wonder Woman 1984 come December 25th.
The unthinkable has happened, and the novel coronavirus is to blame. The first blockbuster to launch online at the same time with cinemas will be Warner Bros. Wonder Woman 1984. The studio delayed the film a couple of times because of the pandemic, which is exactly what other companies did with their biggest releases of the year. Some of them were pushed all the way back to 2021, like the next James Bond movie or Marvel movies. But it looks like Warner is ready for a riskier move, which could hurt its take at the box office. Then again, movies that launched online this year, and we’ve had plenty of them so far, might have done better than the ones that were released in cinemas. As long as the virus is spreading out of control, cinemas should be avoided if any of them are still open in your area. Spending time indoors with other people is a major risk, as that’s where the virus spreads best.
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The Wonder Woman sequel is certainly one of the most anticipated films in the DCEU, considering what the first film in the series did for the franchise and Warner’s entire attempt to create a universe that would rival Marvel’s MCU. To have it premiere online at the same time with cinemas is huge for Warner and the entire industry and might set a precedent for others to follow. Vaccines will help governments turn the pandemic around in 2021, but it will be a while until the box office can rival anything preceding the pandemic. Launching movies online at the same time as the theatrical release might make more sense for the foreseeable future.
What’s interesting about Warner’s push is that it won’t charge people extra for access to Wonder Woman 1984. All you need to see the film is a subscription to HBO Max, and the movie will be available for free. Still, the move might convince more people to try or subscribe to HBO Max for at least one month to see this particular movie.
The sequel will be released in theaters and HBO Max on December 25th in the US, with the international theatrical debut set for December 16th. There are some limitations in place, however. The film will only stream for a month on HBO Max in the US at no extra cost. It’s unclear whether international HBO subscribers will get access to it.
“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,” WarnerMedia Studio CEO Ann Sarnoff said in a statement. “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.”
While the DCEU is far from the MCU in terms of quality and excitement, it’s certainly moving in the right direction. The Justice League Synder Cut will be launched on HBO Max as well as a four-part series next year. James Gunn’s Suicide Squad remake should also come out next year.