On Thursday night, Bloomberg created a buzz with a post on its website about the hottest topic in the industry this week, whether Warner Bros. would maintain its plans to release Wonder Woman 1984 to theatres on Christmas Day. Exhibitors are desperate to have the sequel to the blockbuster 2017 original to play in their theatres since it is the only “significant” studio film remaining on the 2020 theatrical release calendar.
The Bloomberg report indicates that the two scenarios under consideration are (1) hold to a 12/25 theatrical release but shortly after to also make the film available as a PVOD purchase on HBO Max streaming and (2) push back the theatrical release to 2021, perhaps to a weekend in the Summer. HBO Max is part of the WarnerMedia Entertainment conglomerate, with AT&T as their corporate owners.
By the end of Q3 2020, subscriber numbers for HBO and HBO Max combined surpassed 38M, ahead of expectations but trailing other leading streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Some within the studio and its corporate hierarchy feel that releasing Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max would give a significant boost to those subscriber numbers. Others maintain that a Summer 2021 theatrical release would return the best results for the film, expected to generate hundreds of millions at the box office.