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Anyone wish for Wonder Woman 1984 for Christmas this year? Consider that marked off the list… finally. Patty Jenkins' highly-anticipated followup to 2017’s record-breaking superhero film has been lassoed around even before the pandemic with numerous calendar shifts, finally cementing itself in No Man’s Land at the end of 2020. Instead of being delayed further, Warner Bros has officially decided to release the movie in theaters and HBO Max on the same day.
As planned back in October, Wonder Woman 1984 will arrive on Christmas Day in the select theaters open in the U.S. and will be available to stream exclusively on the studio’s new streaming service, HBO Max. It has not yet been determined what the studio plans to do overseas.
It’s an unprecedented decision for a studio, even following Warner Bros’ decision to give Tenet an exclusive theatrical release over the summer. Wonder Woman 1984 will be the first major live-action tentpole film to come out in 2020 both in theaters and on a streaming service simultaneously. Wonder Woman 1984 will be available to HBO Max subscribers for no additional costs on Christmas Day, and for exactly one month before leaving the service.
It’s a move that will allow Warner Bros to benefit from the HBO Max subscriber boost Warner Media has been hoping for. Additionally, the release will allow theaters to make some money over the holidays and give families something new to access over the holidays safely at home. Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said this 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.
The decision regarding Wonder Woman 1984 was rumored last week, when it was reported that there were two options being weighed for the superhero film: either a holiday theatrical release, with the movie reaching HBO Max a month later, or another big push into summer 2021. Since then, it seems the plan was shifted to a new model not yet attempted before by a studio this year.
Previously, writer/director Patty Jenkins has made it clear that the film would wait for a theatrical release in order to align with her values to preserve the movie-going industry. In this scenario, Wonder Woman 1984 will get a chance at big screens, though for the moment only around 50% of theaters across the country are open, and recent COVID-19 spikes have led to more restrictions.
Other studios have bowed out of the holiday box office, including Disney pulling Free Guy and Death On The Nile off their calendar to unknown dates, and Pixar’s Soul going straight to Disney+ on Christmas Day as well. What do you think about the monumental Wonder Woman 1984 decision? Vote in our poll and get ready for Diana Prince’s return on December 25, 2020. If you're not already subscribed to HBO Max, you're welcome to do so now.