Wonder Woman 1984 will arrive on HBO Max in the U.S. on December 25, the same day as its global theatrical release.
The Patty Jenkins film, with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine reprising their roles as Diana Prince and Steve Trevor, will be available to HBO Max subscribers at no extra cost.
Announcing the move, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar noted: “For a movie of this scale, this is unprecedented.” The pandemic, the company’s continued belief in the theatrical experience, its mission to support its artistic partners and the franchise’s fans all factored into the company’s decision, Kilar said.
“We are, of course, in an extraordinary moment. This entails a patchwork of regulations, geographic considerations and, most importantly, fan preferences. With that in mind, we see an opportunity to do something firmly focused on the fans: give them the power to choose between going to their local cinema or opening up HBO Max. Super-fans will likely choose both. This incredible movie will be available both ways on the exact same day. If you are fortunate to live in a place where theaters are open, we believe we are offering a great option given the Cinema Safe protocols our partners have put in place. With this, exhibitors are offering a movie-going experience with social distancing, masks, cleaning and ventilation protocols. On the other hand, if you and your family prefer to stay in and make your own popcorn this holiday, we want to share the experience of Wonder Woman 1984 with you the exact same day on HBO Max. It’s your decision to make.
“We are committed to the theatrical experience and we believe giving exhibitors a movie of this nature is important right now. We believe in theaters because hundreds of millions of fans around the world value going to the movies. And for as long as fans seek out the theatrical experience, we will be there to serve them with great movies in partnership with exhibitors. Collectively, the fans get to decide these things, as they should.”
The move will benefit fans and cinemas, Kilar noted. “I find it fascinating that we will be measuring the performance of this movie in an entirely new way. To use a line from The Wizard of Oz, we’re not in Kansas anymore. While we will pay attention to theatrical revenues, our expectations are clearly adjusted due to COVID-19. In parallel, we will be paying close attention to the numbers of families and fans diving into HBO Max, as we certainly anticipate that a portion of fans will choose to enjoy Wonder Woman 1984 that way on opening day and beyond. To provide a comparison, a little over 4 million fans in the U.S. enjoyed the first Wonder Woman movie on its opening day in 2017. Is it possible for that to happen again this Christmas with Wonder Woman 1984 between theaters and HBO Max? We are so excited to find out, doing everything in our power to provide the power of choice to fans.”
Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, noted, “As we navigate these unprecedented times, we’ve had to be innovative in keeping our businesses moving forward while continuing to super-serve our fans. This is an amazing film that really comes to life on the big screen and, working with our partners in the exhibition community, we will provide that option to consumers in the U.S. where theaters are open. We realize that a lot of consumers can’t go back to the movies due to the pandemic, so we also want to give them the option to see Wonder Woman 1984 via our HBO Max platform.”