The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the movie industry to finally come to terms with streaming. They've been putting it off for years because box office numbers were still good, and streaming services didn't appear to be massive threats yet. So they were not ready for COVID-19 and the idea of movie theaters being shut down for the better part of a year. We have seen some real winners and losers when it comes to movies going to VOD or on a streaming service. Trolls World Tour changed the game as Universal seemed to come to terms with our new reality, but other studios kept delaying movies over and over again. Disney finally blinked with Soul and put the new Pixar movie on Disney+ while Warner Bros. did a hybrid release for Wonder Woman 1984. The latter of which represented how Warner Bros. was planning on releasing all of their movies in 2021, so how it worked out meant a lot.
So Warner Bros. and DC were probably happy to hear that according to a new survey (via The Hollywood Reporter), Wonder Woman 1984 is the biggest streaming release of 2021.
According to a Screen Engine survey, 23 percent of those viewing WW84 signed up for the streaming service in order to watch the superhero sequel over the Dec. 25-27 weekend. Among that group, 14 percent said they will continue to subscribe, while 9 percent are likely to cancel soon.
The cancelation rate is the biggest thing because that is a nightmare for steaming services. They want you to sign up and then forget that you're giving them money the same way magazines used to keep the lights on. Wonder Woman 1984 might have won the year, but Disney and Soul were not far behind. They brought in big numbers as well and are well ahead of where they wanted to be a year into the service being live. The survey went on to say that more people were planning on keeping their HBO Max subscription thanks to Wonder Woman 1984,
Among existing HBO Max customers, 19 percent told Screen Engine they would likely have cancelled their subscriptions had it not been for WW84, and will now likely remain customers for the time being.
These numbers are going to be the thing that determines whether or not HBO Max and Warner Bros. keep all of their titles on a hybrid release in 2021. So far, the numbers are looking good, but that could be Warner Bros. trying to spin this for investors and to keep people from canceling their subscriptions. The next hybrid release is The Little Things on January 29th. We'll see how that one goes.
Summary: Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman's next big-screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
Wonder Woman 1984, directed by Patty Jenkins, stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, and Gabriella Wilde. It was released on December 25th in theaters and on HBO Max.