Twist: Warner Bros chooses a double strategy for Wonder Woman 1984, placing it at Christmas in the US in the rooms still open, or alternatively on the proprietary streaming service HBO Max.
Eventually the Warner Bros. has chosen, at least in the US, a hybrid strategy for the sweaty and repeatedly postponed release of Wonder Woman 1984: the film in the United States will land on December 25 in sale, wherever these are open, and at the same time will be available in streaming for just one month on the major’s proprietary platform, ie HBO Max (where Justice League Snyder Cut will also arrive in 2021). You will be able to see it online at no additional cost for a month, only with the subscription to the service, which amounts to 15 dollars per month. All this is true only for the USA and the territories where HBO Max is active, in all other countries, including Italy, an initial distribution in theaters is expected, if the market reopens in a short time. Let’s analyze the matter more in depth.
Wonder Woman 1984 in streaming and in theaters, the differences with the Disney + strategy
It is a risky step, but dictated by the need not to be able to postpone the distribution of Wonder Woman 1984 by Patty Jenkins with Gal Gadot, one of the cinecomic most anticipated in the last period. Warner Bros, which was the only major to believe in relaunch of the cinematic experience with Tenet in the brief moment of pause of the pandemic, he thus chooses a path that on the streaming front looks to rival Disney: you will remember that Mulan it ended up Disney+ with VIP access from 20 euros (with release from early December for all subscribers), while Soul will debut on the service again on December 25th, immediately included in the subscription. With Wonder Woman 1984 Warner proposes a variant on the model, because the feature film on HBO Max will not involve additional costs like Mulan, but only in the first month. Of course, the colossal difference here is the contemporary distribution of the work in the cinema circuit, a significant move that at least nominally it doesn’t cut out merchants (even if the simultaneous presence of the film on another channel certainly has an impact on their revenues, regardless of Covid-19).
Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters and in streaming: CEO Warner talks about the decision
Given the scope of this decision, which Warner cannot easily extend to the whole world as Disney can afford to do with Disney +, it is appropriate to leave the floor to the CEO of the major, Jason Kilar, extrapolating some passages from the official release. about Wonder Woman 1984, where he underlines that he believes “in the experience in the room and the importance of exhibitors”, but adds what we translate below:
We see an opportunity to do something firmly focused on fan: we give them the power to choose between going to a local cinema or watching the movie on HBO Max. Superfans are likely to do both. […] If you are lucky and live in a place where cinemas are open, we believe we offer a great option, by virtue of the safety protocols that our business partners have activated, with social distancing, masks, hygiene and ventilation. On the other hand, if you and your family prefer to stay home and make your own popcorn for the holidays, we want to share with you the same day Wonder Woman 1984 experience on HBO Max. The choice is yours. […]
I find it fascinating that we will measure the performance of this film in a whole new way. To use a line from the Wizard of Oz: we are no longer in Kansas. We will certainly pay attention to the proceeds that will come from the theaters, but our expectations are naturally regulated on Covid-19. At the same time, we will be focusing a lot on the numbers of families and fans who will dive into HBO Max, because we certainly expect that some fans will choose to enjoy Wonder Woman 1984 on day one and beyond.