Warner Bros. announced that Wonder Woman 1984 will be their Christmas Day treat as the movie will be shown in theaters and simultaneously streamed via HBO Max.
Actually, the arrangement goes this way: in countries where HBO Max is unavailable, the movie will premiere in theaters and cinema complexes on December 16 and thereafter will be available for viewing. After one week, the long awaited motion picture will be streaming for a whole month on HBO Max with no extra costs to subscribers of the streaming service
According to Ann Sarnoff, the Chairperson and CEO of Warner Media Studios and Networks Group, they have to be innovative in business and in serving their fans in managing the uncertainties brought on by the pandemic. As it is, that there are health and safety restrictions that prevent numerous consumers from watch movies in theaters.
That’s why they are giving movie enthusiasts the option to watch Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max. Doing so also casts away doubts on whether Wonder Woman 1984 would finally, and actually be released for showing on December 25, considering that half of the cinemas in the U.S. are closed.
The movie’s streaming at HBO Max is a move that has taken many fans by surprise, being a blockbuster film for which box office expectations have been high. After all, the Gal Gadot movie has been postponed numerous times, ever since its scheduled premiere showing last summer.
Apparently there is another reason why Warner Media Studios arrived at a decision to release the movie both for theater showing and for streaming at HBO Max. .
Releasing Wonder Woman 1984 via HBO Max is Warner Media Studios’ Promotion of Their Streaming Service
The superhero sequel Wonder Woman 1984 had cost Warner Bros. around $200 million to produce. The studio is now expecting that they will be losing a lot of money if they simply rely on theater showing, as it also increases the risks of the movie becoming stale Through HBO Max, they can release the film at a convenient period and at the same time, promote HBO Max’s streaming service.
Media analyst at LightShed Partners, Rich Greenfield, said that even if the studio’s latest decision would result to less profit, they will be, at the least promoting and building HBO Max, being the parent company of the streaming platform. The perception is that the company is now focused on prioritizing what is better for the future of their business instead of pinning its hopes on the potential revenue they can rake in from a theater release of the movie.
Yet the strategy of giving a movie a one-week window in theaters before releasing it for viewing via streaming services is something we’ve already heard from Netflix. The way how the pandemic changed the viewing public’s response and behavior toward watching movies in theaters, has made the Netflix approach the most feasible solution at the moment.
Nonetheless, Jason Kilar, the CEO of WarnerMedia, highlighted the company’s devotion to the theater industry, saying that he believes in theaters, as millions of fans worldwide appreciate going to the movies. He gave a promise that for as long as fans are looking for theatrical experience, Warner Bros. will provide great movies in collaboration with film exhibitors.