Wonder Woman could be lassoing her way to a streaming service near you in early 2021. That’s the big takeaway from reports in Variety and Bloomberg which claim that Warner Bros. is currently mulling over what to do with Wonder Woman 1984. The Gal Gadot-led sequel to 2017’s record-breaking DC Comics smash hit is the last remaining blockbuster on the 2020 release schedule which was devastated by COVID-19 this year. Just about every major release either got delayed massively or they were pushed to streaming services… or they were Tenet. Christopher Nolan’s $200 million sci-fi tentpole was WB’s big gamble on whether or not audiences would risk a pandemic to watch a movie, and it’s a gamble that failed.
With that underperformance in mind, the studio is reportedly considering taking a page out of its competitors’ books. The two options on the table is to stick to Wonder Woman 1984’s current Christmas Day theatrical release, but then only give it limited run before releasing the film on HBO Max in mid-January 2021, or to hold back the film entirely until 4 June 2021 for the US summer blockbuster season. The problem, of course, is that nobody knows if there will even be a US summer blockbuster season, especially not since COVID-19 numbers in the US continues to be an absolute horror show.
So in my mind, a dual theatrical and HBO Max release seems the safest option. On top of that, it keeps happy director Patty Jenkins who has previously insisted her film will debut in cinemas, while also potentially giving HBO Max the shot in the arm it needs. While the WarnerMedia-owned streaming service has seen an uptick in activations this year, its 38 million total subscriber count (that’s HBO and HBO Max combined) is still lagging way behind their rivals.
Disney+ has reportedly passed the 70 million mark recently, and you have to think that a number of those subscribers hopped on board earlier this year when Disney gave Mulan a limited theatrical run while making it available on the streaming service for a premium price. There wouldn’t be any additional charge for Wonder Woman 1984 which would make the HBO Max offering even more enticing to new subscribers. Not to mention the fact that this would just be a precursor to when the highly-anticipated Zack Snyder cut of Justice League also drops onto the service later next year.
As for skipping theatres entirely and just doing an HBO Max release, Deadline is hearing that WB is not keen on that path at all. When pushed for comment on its future plans for the film, studio reps would only respond with “WW1984 will be in theaters.” Well, that clarifies everything. The buzz in Hollywood though is that we won’t have to wait long before an official decision is made and revealed publicly, so we’ll be keeping our ears to the ground over the next few days.
Last Updated: November 13, 2020