Last month, we reported that Wonder Woman 1984 was seriously considering a move to streaming platform HBO Max. Well, it looks like our scoop was right on the money because we are now seeing reports that this option is absolutely what Warner Bros. is considering for the future of this major superhero tentpole film.
Variety is confirming our original report that Warner Bros. is seriously considering putting Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max. However, there is some clarification that has happened since our original scoop. The scuttlebutt seems to be that Warner Bros. will stick to the Christmas Day release date for the superhero sequel, and then they would release the movie on HBO Max just a few weeks later.
Frankly, this seems like a way to lose even more money. If Wonder Woman 1984 sticks to a theatrical release, it is almost certain that the movie will not make a sufficient profit stateside. All indications point towards the COVID-19 pandemic getting worse as we head into winter, and it is unlikely that movie theaters will see audiences flock to them in sufficient enough numbers. If Warner Bros. intends for the Gal Gadot blockbuster to only recoup its money through a theatrical release, it is going to be an extremely dire result.
However, they could supplement this with a premium video-on-demand (PVOD) release at the same time. Putting Wonder Woman 1984 on PVOD at the same time it is in theaters is its best chance at making some kind of money at this point. And, it would provide the studio with a better piece of data in regards to how many consumers are willing to go the PVOD route for a blockbuster release. This model has not had enough major releases to gauge what kind of reaction it could gain.
Wonder Woman 1984 would undoubtedly be the biggest profile release to go to streaming or PVOD after the successful Trolls: World Tour. While it is extremely unlikely at this point that it will make back its assuredly enormous production costs, anything is better than another major delay. The Variety report also says that Warner Bros. is weighing the option of moving the DC film to next summer. At this point, the constant moves in the schedule have to be deflating audience interest.
And if Wonder Woman 1984 decided to go for a day-and-date release on PVOD and in theaters, it would make history as the biggest film to ever go with such a distribution route. The problem is that Warner Bros. seems to be the only studio that is standing in solidarity with theatrical exhibitors. If things keep going poorly for the movie theater industry, Warner Bros. could see themselves going down with the ship.
We hope we will hear a definitive decision on the release of Wonder Woman 1984 very soon. It has the opportunity to capitalize on the holiday season and become a necessary home viewing for families this December. Or, it could end up as a dumped movie on a streaming service and another example of the studio system being unaware of how the marketplace has changed. At this point, any company promoting the idea of going to a movie theater is actively endangering the American citizenry.