Though Wonder Woman 1984 remains one of the final major movies scheduled to be released in theaters for the rest of 2020, the film could find itself streaming not too long after a theatrical debut. According to a report by Bloomberg, citing "people familiar with the matter," the outlet brings word that WarnerMedia is still deliberating what to do with the highly anticipated sequel and that one option is to release it on HBO Max two weeks after it premieres in theaters. Though this might be seen as an attack on the theatrical exhibition business by movie theater chains, this move could prove to be a lucrative decision that would attract new subscribers to the streaming service.
Still set for a Christmas Day debut in theaters, should the sequel keep that date it would put its debut on HBO Max around the first part of January 2021. Naturally there are other options for the studio to consider as well, including another delay, this strategy seems to go directly against things previously said in the press by the film's director Patty Jenkins and ATT CEO John Stankey. The later said back in July he "would be very surprised" if Wonder Woman 1984 went to streaming services.
"If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process,” Jenkins previously said in an interview with Reuters. “We could lose movie theater-going forever...It could be the kind of thing that happened to the music industry ... where you could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can’t be profitable....I don’t think any of us want to live in a world where the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room, and not have a place to go for a date."
Bloomberg notes that "some cinema owners are open to the idea in this instance" largely due to a reported plan by WarnerMedia to pay exhibitors a fee in exchange for shortening the window between its theatrical exhibition and its online streaming premiere. Should this come to pass it would be a major about-face for the studio, having previously pushed the latest Christopher Nolan film Tenet into theaters after several delays. Though the film produced decent box office returns internationally, its domestic tally sits at just $55 million as of this writing, a number that sent the rest of the studio's upcoming films delayed into other points in the future.
With just six weeks between now and Wonder Woman 1984's Christmas Day premiere we'll no doubt learn what the studios plans will be very soon. Will it be delayed yet again or will the studio relent and deliver it to the masses via HBO Max? Check back here for more details as we learn them.