2020 has been an unprecedented year for a variety of reasons, and the film industry is no exception. Starting in March countless projects were delayed, while others have seen their release straight to homes. Warner Bros. recently announced its final plans for Wonder Woman 1984, which will see the long awaited blockbuster release both in theaters and HBO Max simultaneously. And Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo recently shared his thoughts on this wild release strategy.
The Russo Brothers work in the MCU massively opened up the shared universe, while containing plenty of long-awaited crossover moments. This is especially true for their pair of Avengers movies, with Endgame currently the highest grossing movie of film history. But the industry is in a unique place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Joe Russo seems to understand the benefit to releasing blockbusters straight to homes. As he put it,
I mean the world is disrupting and it's changing at lightning speed and the pandemic has certainly accelerated that change. And I think that there are certain stories that are better suited for digital distribution in the off of theatrical distribution and I think, you know it's becoming more evident what those stories are. I also think that there's a real specificity to, you know, reaching regions, international regions that digital has as an advantage. Also, there's a cost advantage. People can share accounts, you know, where they can get, you know, 10 movies in a month for the cost of one film. You know not everyone can afford the luxury of going to the theater.
A number of solid points are made here. The most obvious is that the state of the world and movie theaters in particular has changed greatly throughout the course of the year. But there's also another silver lining to movies like Wonder Woman 1984 arriving straight to homes: it makes it more affordable. As such, it's possible that the movies are enjoyed by an even bigger group of people than with a traditional theatrical release.
Joe Russo's comments to Comic Book may offer a new perspective on the current climate of the film world. Every major studio have had to delay movies, in hopes of making a solid box office profit next year. But as this strange time in history continues on, the time has come to pivot. And that's exactly what Warner Bros. is doing with its two-pronged approach to Wonder Woman 1984.
Wonder Woman 1984 is still going full steam ahead with its release in theaters, which is expected to provide a major boost to theaters over the Holiday Season. And for those DC fans who are perhaps uncomfortable with congregating in theaters during these strange times, they'll be able to check out Patty Jenkins' sophomore installment in the franchise over on HBO Max.
The studio has been putting a ton of focus on HBO Max as of late, especially regarding Warner Bros.' various superhero properties. The streaming service will be the exclusive home of Zack Snyder's Justice League, and there are also TV projects in the works. This includes Matt Reeves' The Batman prequel and James Gunn's show about The Suicide Squad character Peacemaker.
Wonder Woman 1984 is expected to hit theaters and HBO Max December 25th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next movie experience.