Recently it was revealed that Warner Bros. was nervous that WONDER WOMAN 1984 could “get stale” if it were to be delayed further into next year. After all, the sequel to 2017’s superhero smash had wrapped principal photography in late 2018, allowing the film ample time to be polished and fire up the old PR machine. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has made it all but impossible to stage a safe and successful launch for any film, let alone a tentpole powerhouse like Wonder Woman 1984. Thus, WarnerMedia on Wednesday announced that the Patty Jenkins-directed sequel would release day and date on Christmas Day with a theatrical run and debut on HBO Max for U.S. subscribers. The newly-announced move not only gets the film in front of fans, but it’s also likely to boost HBO Max subscriptions exponentially.
According to Variety, the studio grew increasingly apprehensive about Wonder Woman 1984 getting “stale” if it were to be pushed to the summer or fall of next year. While I would argue that the notion of Wonder Woman becoming stale is an impossibility, I can also appreciate WB’s desire to welcome Diana back into the hearts of fans before too long. With the film receiving both a theatrical and digital release, WB stands to satiate a variety of fans, including those willing to brave theaters during an ongoing pandemic.
While Wonder Woman 1984 is likely to own the box office for as long as it’s in theaters, it’s to be understood that Warners will take a significant hit to the film’s would-be box office numbers. There’s also the merchandising end to consider as well. Without people lining up to see Diana’s latest adventure on the silver screen, there’s a lot of Wonder Woman-themed popcorn buckets and collectible drink cups that will likely go to waste. You can blame COVID-19 for that one, alongside a host of other unfortunate dealings.
“They’re going to make less money for the greater good of building HBO Max,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at LightShed Partners. “This is putting the long-term future of the company ahead of profits.” He then added, “It’s far less about driving new subscribers as it is getting people to know HBO Max exists,” he said. “They have people who pay for HBO Max and don’t use it. The whole initiative is getting people over to Max.”
Unfortunately, my New York born-and-raised ass moved to Canada some four years ago this coming March, so I’ll have to wait to see Wonder Woman 1984 at a later date. I say this because there’s no way I’m going to a theater until this pandemic is well behind us. However, those who wish to brave the elements will have their chance to see the film in theaters one week earlier on December 16, as part of an effort to mitigate piracy. Good luck with that initiative, WB, as I feel you’re in for one hell of an uphill battle on that front. Sincerely though, best of luck.
What are your plans for WONDER WOMAN 1984? Will you be seeing it in theaters or will you watch it on HBO Max? Let us know what your plan of action is in the comments section below.