We previously reported that Patti Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman sequel might be getting a day-and-date release. That appears to be the plan, as Warner Bros. has confirmed to multiple outlets (1, 2, 3) that Wonder Woman 1984 will debut in both theaters and HBO Max (at no additional cost) on Christmas Day.
This is pretty shocking for an IP that’s capable of generating nearly a billion dollars in the theatrical circuit (the first film made $821 million worldwide), but the plan seems to make sense in light of the fact that half of the nation’s cinemas have been shuttered due to coronavirus restrictions.
Wonder Woman 1984’s debut on HBO Max sets an interesting precedent for Warner’s other upcoming blockbusters, such as Denis Villeneuve’s star-studded interpretation of Dune and The Batman, which puts Robert Pattinson in the boots of the Dark Knight. In the event that the industry still hasn’t recovered, those might also have a chance of premiering on HBO Max depending on how much Wonder Woman 1984 manages to increase subscription numbers.
“This is by far the biggest blast off of an IP on HBO Max to date, bigger than Warner Bros.’ Witches and Scoob!, which were both intended for theatrical,” Deadline noted. “Warners appeases those exhibitors bravely staying open during the pandemic –and there are a lot who are being forced to shut down this weekend due to government COVID-19 restrictions […]”
The decision to release Wonder Woman 1984 early on HBO Max might have been prompted by the disastrous performance of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which was intended to rejuvenate the theater industry this summer. Instead, it ended up bombing with a worldwide figure of just $353 million.