With almost every blockbuster already finding a new slot in 2021 or beyond, one film is still a large question mark. Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman 1984. Currently, it is still slated for a Christmas Day release next month. It’s already been moved twice and it looks like it may be moved again. Via Variety we are learning that executives are considering moving the DC superhero sequel to the summer of 2021. Or to keep the current theatrical release date. Then release it on HBO Max in early January.
This all because of, you guessed it, the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the cold weather, it seems that cases are spiking at high rates across the country. Leading many to anticipate that there will be another widespread shutdown, especially in major cities that drive the majority of the theatrical business. They could possibly still open on December 25th to support the theaters that are still open. All while also driving up subscriber growth for HBO Max. This is important because they have struggled to build enough of an audience to really compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.
The fact is that HBO Max has not had a blockbuster hit on their services like Disney+’s Hamilton and Netflix’s The Old Guard. Putting a major superhero film like Wonder Woman 1984 on the streaming service would be the biggest draw that they would have to that point. In its third quarter, WarnerMedia reported that HBO Max had 8.6 million activations. With 38 million subscribers to both HBO and HBO Max. While these numbers are more than they had expected, they are nowhere near to what the other streaming giants are doing.
The Billion Dollar Problem
The problem that executives are having with doing a short term theatrical release, followed by a streaming release is the money. Wonder Woman 1984 is supposed to be a billion-dollar grossing global giant. If they release the film next month, they are not going to come anywhere near that kind of money. But the optimistic news about a COVID vaccine has the big wigs ready to push it back to next summer. This could possibly push back a New Line Cinema horror film or Lebron James’ Space Jam film.
It looks like Wonder Woman 1984 will be headed to the theater one way or another. The apparent billion-dollar question is still, when? In my opinion, I think that this film, like many others, is meant to be enjoyed on the big screen. Also, there is the question of how many people are going to feel comfortable going out to the theater. If there is really a vaccine that is going to be rolled out soon, then it would be worth being patient for the studio.
When do you think Wonder Woman 1984 is going to be released? Let us know in the comment section below!