As several studios have been experimenting with releasing current and upcoming theatrical releases on VOD, Warner Bros. may take things to the next level by making Wonder Woman 1984 available to stream in the near future. This comes as movie theaters all across the world are shut down for an indefinite period of time as a measure to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. Amidst all of the uncertainty, studios are left wondering what to do with movies they have on the 2020 calendar.
According to a new report, Warner Bros. Pictures Chairman Toby Emmerich has been discussing releasing Wonder Woman 1984 via streaming with some of his closest advisors recently. The studio still, ultimately, wants to see the sequel go to theaters, and it's easy to understand why. The first Wonder Woman grossed $821 million worldwide. With director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot both returning, Warner Bros. has every reason to expect it will do big business. At present, the movie is still slated to arrive on June 4, but that date could easily be pushed as the situation progresses.
The report notes that Warner Bros. is discussing possibly moving the latest DC Comics adaptation to August. The problem is, as I discussed recently, with all of the big movies being delayed by various studios, finding a desirable spot on the calendar could prove to be challenging, as it could get quite crowded. No Time to Die, Black Widow, Mulan, The New Mutants, F9, A Quiet Place: Part II, Peter Rabbit 2 and more have been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Universal Pictures broke the traditional theatrical window by making The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma, all of which were recently released, available to rent on VOD as of today for $19.99. The studio is doing the same with Trolls: World Tour next month. Similarly, Warner Bros. released Birds of Prey, The Gentlemen and The Way Back significantly early on VOD as well, with Disney making similar moves with Frozen 2 and Pixar's Onward.
Should Wonder Woman 1984, which carries a production budget said to be in the $200 million range, it would be easily the biggest movie so far to forgo a theatrical release in favor of an early VOD offering. In the meantime, while Warner Bros. toys with this very important question, several new photos from the sequel have been released. We get a new look at Kristen Wiig as Cheetah, aka Barbara Minerva, alongside Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord. We also get an overhead shot of a mall, which will play home to an action sequence we've seen teased in the trailers.
The big q with all of this is, can studios make enough money through VOD rentals and sales to make up for little or no box office? If this does work, the traditional theatrical release window as we know it could be a thing of the past by the time movie theaters reopen in the U.S. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any additional information is made available. This news comes to us via The Wrap.