The recent surge in big studios, actors and directors pushing work out onto streaming platforms may have been a good way to work during the Covid pandemic, but while there are many who have cited streaming as the future, with Amazon shelling out multi-millions per season for its Lord of The Rings series and the likes of Netflix paying millions for the Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds collaboration Red Notice, there are some who still stand by cinema as their first, and potentially only output for big movies. Someone who has been making their feelings clear is Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins, who really isn't a fan of day and date releases either.
Speaking about the decision to stream Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max at the same time as its theatrical release, Jenkins said, ""It was the best choice in a bunch of bad choices at the moment and a heartbreaking experience. I don't think it plays the same on streaming, ever. I'm not a fan of day-and-date and I hope to avoid it forever."
Almost four million subscribers streamed the movie on HBO Max and across other rental platforms, but Jenkins still believes that overall the dual release was "detrimental" to the movie's performance. Back in 2020, the release of movies on streaming platforms on the same day as cinemas became something of a necessity, with unreleased films piling up and no theaters to show them once full lockdown hit, however, many hadn't expected much of 2021 to go the same way. While the strategy has allowed more people to see the movies than would have in theaters alone, that doesn't mean everyone has been happy with the decision - as Jenkins has made clear.
In 2017, Wonder Woman pulled in a worldwide gross of over $822 million, and in comparison the sequel struggled to $165 million. However, considering the average movie is failing to breach the $100 million mark at the moment, in relative terms, the movie could be considered a hit, but that doesn't help offset the loss made against the budget.
"I make movies for the big-screen experience," Jenkins said, and when asked if that would include making a movie for Netflix, which would mean a limited theatrical release and then straight to the streamer's platform, she added, "I won't make one. "I like working with Netflix for television, I wouldn't make a movie there or any streaming service with those terms. It's hard to market a movie when it has a limited run."
The director is current working on a number projects, including the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, as well as Wonder Woman 3 and Cleopatra which are both on her slate. While studios such as Sony are committed to making movies theatrical again, many like Warner Bros. have continued to express interest in releasing some movies on demand in unison with their cinema launch. Warner Bros. have already decided that their movies in 2022 will either be straight to HBO Max, or will receive a 45 day exclusivity to cinemas before a movie to streaming. However, Paramount had planned something similar for Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins last month, but halved the 45 day window after the movie fared poorly on its theatrical run, so it seems nothing is really set in stone just yet. This news arrives via IndieWire.