It's official: Wonder Woman 1984 is coming home for the holidays. Warner Bros. is indeed going to release the highly-anticipated DC sequel both in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas day. The move comes as the box office has failed to come back to life as health and safety concerns remain prevalent. As such, the studio is, instead, going to make a streaming play with the blockbuster.
Wonder Woman 1984 will be released in whatever theaters are available on December 25. On the same day, the movie will also be made available to HBO Max subscribers. Subscribers will not have to pay anything additional to watch the sequel, which runs counter to what many major movies have done in recent months. Trolls World Tour and other titles were offered on premium VOD, going for around $19.99 for a 48-hour rental. Disney, meanwhile, offered Mulan to Disney+ subscribers for an additional $29.99. The hope here is that the DC comics adaptation will help drive subscribers to the service, which launched earlier this year.
Warner Bros. already took a huge risk back in August by releasing Tenet in theaters. Unfortunately, Christopher Nolan's $200 million blockbuster earned just over $350 million at the global box office, which means it is unlikely to turn a profit. At least in the short-term. In this case, there are even fewer theaters open in the U.S., which suggests the Wonder Woman 1984 has even less opportunity to bring in the type of money needed to make it a hit. But generating subscribers for HBO Max could, in the long run, pay off. The studio thought this was preferable to delaying the movie yet again. Director Patty Jenkins had this to say in a statement.
"The time has come. At some point you have to choose to share any love and joy you have to give, over everything else. We love our movie as we love our fans, so we truly hope that our film brings a little bit of joy and reprieve to all of you this holiday season. Watch it in theaters, where it is made safe to do so (check out the great work theaters have done to make it so!) And available in the safety of your home on HBO Max where it is not. Happy holidays to all of you. We hope you enjoy our film as much as we enjoyed making it."
The movie sees Gal Gadot reprising her role as Diana Prince, with Chris Pine back as Steve Trevor. The sequel has two villains, with Pedro Pascal playing Maxwell Lord and Kristen Wiig as Cheetah. The original Wonder Woman was a massive hit, earning $821 million at the global box office. It was not unreasonable to expect, under different circumstances, that the follow-up could have been a $1 billion earner.
Wonder Woman 1984 had already been delayed multiple times in 2020. In countries where HBO Max is not yet available, the movie will still be released in theaters. This news was previously reported by Variety.