New rumors have emerged that WarnerBros. could be planning to send Wonder Woman 1984 to streaming shortly after or even on the same day as its theatrical release. Bloomberg first reported WarnerBros decision to shorten the theatrical window and release the sequel on HBO Max within weeks of the theater premiere on Dec. 25.
Now Deadline is saying WarnerBros is leaning toward a simultaneous release in theaters and on VOD and HBO Max all on Christmas Day. But in another confusing piece of information, the film company is also toying with pushing the release of Wonder Woman until June 2021, the same month the first installment debuted in 2017.
Deadline reports that WarnerBros will come to a decision this weekend or at least no later than Monday, so it will be interesting to see where the fate of WW1984 lies. Pros of releasing it in December along with HBO Max would mean a guaranteed boost in the streamer’s subscriber numbers. AT&T owns WarnerMedia, and HBO Max, so they’d be collecting the revenue from both the streaming and box office releases.
WW1984 is the only big film left that could premiere in theaters this year. All of the others have pushed release dates to later in 2021. A shortened theatrical window would at least see some moviegoers before the rising coronavirus cases shut theaters back down.
However, Western Europe is already back on lockdown and curfews are in place in many major US cities, potentially causing a huge loss in the film’s performance. As the sequel to a film that grossed $821.8 million worldwide in 2017, WW1984 has so much potential that could be lost if it doesn’t get a fair chance at the box office. That’s when delaying until June 2021 would make more sense.
WarnerBros decided to power ahead with Tenet, it’s latest blockbuster that ended up with a disappointing performance in theaters. If they waited for the pandemic dust to settle hopefully by next summer, Wonder Woman could live up to its full potential.
“Hollywood’s biggest issue is that PVOD has not come close to compensating for the lost box office revenue. That’s why we keep seeing these big movies pushed forward,” Eric Handler of MKM Partners told Deadline. “Some of the smaller films get tested on PVOD, but the longer this (pandemic) goes on, the more of a crunch there will be. We haven’t seen the end of PVOD testing, but I think when you spend $200M on a film, you have to think of the box office.”