CinemaBlend participates in affiliate programs with various companies. We may earn a commission when you click on or make purchases via links.
It's no secret that 2020 has been an unprecedented time. This is definitely true for the film world, which came to a screeching halt when sets around the world shut down and theaters were temporarily closed. A number of highly anticipated blockbusters have been delayed, but Warner Bros. is moving forward with Wonder Woman 1984's December 25th opening. The movie will be arriving in both theaters and HBO Max in time for the holiday weekend, which Warner Bros. announced it will continue to do moving forward. And now one exec from the studio has explained this complicated, multi-pronged release strategy.
The movie industry has had to make a variety of adjustments recently, with some projects heading straight to theaters and skipping their intended theatrical release altogether. All eyes are on what would happen with Wonder Woman 1984, which had already been pushed back a number of times throughout the years. Warner Bros. will be going with simultaneous releases on both HBO Max and theaters moving forward, in big swing that has sent shockwaves throughout the industry. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar recently opened up about this decision, saying:
So, I wouldn’t say there was any like magic moment per se. I’d say that over the course of this year, we’ve been obviously thinking more about our business. And part of it is pandemic-related. I like to think in five and 10-year increments in terms of where storytelling is going to go. Where technology is going to go, and what’s possible. And as the year went on, and despite all of our desires of the pandemic going away, we increasingly had a conversation about the 2021 slate and specifically we started talking about Wonder Woman 1984.
Well, there you have it. It looks like Warner Bros. has been thinking toward the future, and the possibilities that their new streaming service HBO Max opens in the streaming age. But when global health concerns changed the landscape of the business, Jason Kilar and company moved forward in a big way with Wonder Woman 1984.
Jason Kilar's comments to the New York Times help to peel back the curtain behind Warner Bros.' unprecedented plans to release its future movies. Starting with Wonder Woman 1984, the studio's new releases will be available on HBO Max at the same time as theaters. While helping to encourage moviegoers with signing up for the streaming service, this pivot will presumably have a major affect on the theater industry.
The first Wonder Woman is currently available on HBO Max, which will be the eventual home of both the Snyder Cut and Wonder Woman 1984. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
Later in his same interview, Jason Kilar went on to address some of the concerns that have come with Warner Bros. new plan on releasing its blockbusters. Wonder Woman 1984 was expected to be a big boost to theaters, but there are no doubt plenty of HBO Max subscribers who are eager to enjoy the anticipated sequel in their own homes. Kilar went on to address the theater industry itself saying:
I don’t think [the theater model is over]. I know that there’s a lot of different companies that think differently. It’s possible that some people might follow where we are going, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I think there’s going to be a lot of people taking different paths here and ultimately it is the customer that is going to tell us where this should go.
Warner Bros. is definitely changing the game by releasing movies in both theaters and HBO Max, but it seems the studio is still behind theaters. By releasing Wonder Woman 1984 and others via both routes, moviegoers will have a choice to make. They can either head to theaters and observe social distancing to see the spectacle on the big screen, or cuddle up on the couch to watch Patty Jenkins' second DC blockbuster.
While Wonder Woman 1984 won't make nearly as much money as it could have in theaters, it once again shows Warner Bros. new focus on streaming content via HBO Max. There are both TV and film projects coming set within the DCEU, so comic book fans are definitely going to be signing up.
Wonder Woman 1984 is currently expected to hit theaters and HBO Max on December 25th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.