This week, WarnerMedia announced that the highly-anticipated film is premiering at some cinemas next month. However, those with HBO Max subscriptions will be able to stream the movie without leaving their homes this winter.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, numerous films and television shows have faced severe delays in 2020. Wonder Woman 1984 was originally set to premiere in December 2019. However, once the film’s release was eventually bumped to August, many began to speculate that the movie could be heading for a digital release instead.
Now, it looks like these speculated rumors are partly true. Wonder Woman 1984, which opens on Dec. 25 in the U.S., will be heading to select cinemas that are open amid the pandemic. However, the film will also be available to stream on HBO Max.
This latest decision to release Wonder Woman 1984 onto both HBO Max and in theaters is truly a sign of the times. Due to the pandemic, individuals are consuming more streamed content than ever before. Meanwhile, AMC, Regal and Cinemark are seeing mult-million-dollar losses as customers stray away from visiting theaters amid the pandemic.
Given the economic state of the movie theater industry, some believe the film should’ve been released only in cinemas.
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) November 14, 2020
I think it’s a bad idea to put WONDER WOMAN 1984 on HBO Max. But I don’t make the big money to make that call. When this is over, people will want to go to theaters again.
— AlanWCerny (@AlanWCerny) November 19, 2020
Wonder Woman 1984 going straight to streaming is a big blow to theaters. Couple that with Disney’s recent announcement to move their focus away from theaters and more to streaming, bad news for the cinema industry
— JackTalkingJack (@JackTalkingJack) November 19, 2020
I feel pretty bad about the situation with Wonder Woman 1984. I wanted to watch it in theatres whenever the pandemic finally started to die down, but now I’ll probably have to wait for the DVD release.
Does make me wonder if theatres will even survive the pandemic.
— Tiger Lover 16 (@TigerLover161) November 19, 2020
The film’s star Gal Gadot took to Twitter on Thursday to explain why this decision was made.
“It’s time,” she says. “We’ve all waited a long time for this one to come. I can’t tell you how excited I am for all of you to see this movie. It wasn’t an easy decision and we never thought we’d have to hold onto the release for such a long time, but COVID rocked all of our worlds. We feel the movie has never been so relevant and we hope that it’ll bring some joy, hope and love to your hearts. Wonder Woman 1984 is a special one for me and I can only hope it’ll be as special to you too. We put our hearts and souls into it.”
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) November 19, 2020
Patty Jenkins, the film’s director, reveals that they wanted this film to be available for fans to see over the holidays. Hopefully, during these rather dark and uncertain times, viewers can find a little joy in the highly-anticipated DC film.
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) November 18, 2020
Back in October, Jenkins originally told Reuters that there were no plans to put Wonder Woman 1984 on streaming services.
“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,” she said. “And not have a place to go for a date.”
However, as cases continue to spike and cities go back into lockdown, it’s clear Warner Bros. saw this as a now or never moment. Wonder Woman 1984 will be available on HBO Max for one month after its release at no additional cost to subscribers. However, after the one month is up, it will be available to watch only in theaters before eventually making its way onto digital on-demand services.
Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t the first, and likely won’t be the last, film to head to streaming services this year. This summer, Disney released Mulan exclusively onto Disney+ in the United States as theaters remained closed. However, the company faced backlash after it required subscribers to pay an additional $30 to watch the live-action film.
Wonder Woman 1984 premieres in the U.S. on Dec. 25 and internationally on Dec. 16.
What are your reactions to Wonder Woman 1984 being released on HBO Max? Do you think it should be released in theaters only? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.