The blockbuster movie landscape has gone into some uncharted territory over the past year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has made theatrical releases a lot more difficult to pull off. Wonder Woman 1984, which has been delayed multiple times amid the pandemic's spread, just made a significant movement amid the "new normal" on Wednesday, announcing that the film will be released both in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas Day, December 25th. While the idea of moving some tentpole releases to streaming has courted backlash from theater chains and distributors, it sounds like AMC CEO and President Adam Aron is happy about the WW84 news. In a statement put out on Wednesday, Aron voiced his excitement about the new deal, revealing that it will allow WW84 to play in nearly 1,000 of the chain's locations around the world.
"Movie fans across the United States, Europe and the Middle East will be excited to learn that the release of Wonder Woman 1984 this holiday season is right around the corner, and that AMC will show this eagerly awaited movie on our big screens all across our global network," Aron's statement reads in part. "For many months, AMC has been in active and deep dialogue with Warner Brothers to figure out how best this cinematic blockbuster could be seen at AMC Theatres in these unprecedented times. Given that atypical circumstances call for atypical economic relationships between studios and theatres, and atypical windows and releasing strategies, AMC is fully onboard for Warner Brothers’ announcement today."
"AMC continues to believe that exclusive theatrical releases benefit consumers, filmmakers, studios and exhibitors," the statement continues. "Even so, we also have clearly demonstrated this year that we are flexible and remain open to evolving long-standing business models, provided that we do so in ways that improve the industry ecosystem for all players. We have instituted novel approaches with other movie studios this year. We are doing so again, this time with Warner Brothers to facilitate the specific release of this important movie. We hope movie lovers enjoy Wonder Woman 1984 during the holidays this year at AMC. In showcasing Wonder Woman 1984, we especially note AMC’s commitment to the safety and health of our moviegoing guests and associates at our theatres. Our comprehensive and extensive AMC Safe & Clean protocols were unveiled this summer, having been designed in consultation with current and former faculty of Harvard University’s prestigious School of Public Health and in partnership with Clorox. Our commitment to AMC Safe & Clean already has allowed us to responsibly and safely welcome literally millions of moviegoers to enjoy seeing movies at AMC Theatres."
Aron's statement echoes the comments made by WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who argued on Wednesday that the film can provide a communal experience across an unpredictable holiday season.
"While we will pay attention to theatrical revenues, our expectations are clearly adjusted due to COVID-19," Kilar said in part. "In parallel, we will be paying close attention to the numbers of families and fans diving into HBO Max, as we certainly anticipate that a portion of fans will choose to enjoy Wonder Woman 1984 that way on opening day and beyond. To provide a comparable, a little over four million fans in the U.S. enjoyed the first Wonder Woman movie on its opening day in 2017. Is it possible for that to happen again this Christmas with Wonder Woman 1984 between theaters and HBO Max? We are so excited to find out, doing everything in our power to provide the power of choice to fans."
As mentioned above, Wonder Woman 1984 will be released in select theaters on Christmas Day, as well as on HBO Max.