The only blockbuster still scheduled this year, Wonder Woman 1984 should continue its streaming existence. Sources close to the subject would have mentioned, according to Bloomberg, a broadcast of the film on HBO Max just one or two weeks after its theatrical release.
The announcement would have sparked scandal a few months ago. But the pandemic is redrawing the scenarios. Already postponed twice (June then October 2020), the release of Wonder Woman 1984 is the subject of new reflections. Should we postpone its release to 2021? Or maintain it on December 25, in the United States, and December 30 in France? Should Warner Bros. opt for the second option, Wonder Woman 1984 would very quickly be available on HBO Max in order to make the film accessible to as many people as possible.
Jason Kilar, the new director of Warner Media, is looking to accelerate the growth of HBO Max subscribers. The streaming platform now has more than 8 million active users. Their HBO and HBO Max TV packages have 57 million users worldwide. In comparison, the number of Netflix subscribers stands at 190 million. In addition to Warner Bros, Walt Disney has also taken the turn of the platforms by exiting in turn Hamilton and Mulan.
Reduced delay between theatrical and online film release
Faced with serious financial difficulties, and for some in the process of going out of business, American cinemas should be more flexible in the face of producers’ desire to extend the life of films on streaming platforms. A new postponement of Wonder Woman 1984 would be too risky for theaters, which Bloomberg said would additionally benefit from an additional payment from Warner Bros. in exchange for a reduced delay between the film’s theatrical release and online.
As sanitary conditions did not improve, theaters had to do without large productions to attract spectators. While Regal, the second chain of theaters has closed indefinitely, Adam Aron, chief executive of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, the competing circuit, said in early November that the group was doing everything possible to stay open. It remains to be seen whether Patty Jenkins’ film will meet the same fate as Tenet, which nevertheless did not manage to reach the expected attendance in theaters.