In a move that might shake up the movie industry as we know, Warner Bros. has finally made a decision when it comes to Wonder Woman 1984. After months of delays and people wondering whether or not this movie would see the light of day in 2020, with most people thinking not, Warner Bros. has officially pulled the trigger on what could be the future of movies as we know it. According to Variety and other sources, Wonder Woman 1984 will open in theaters and to stream on HBO Max on December 25th. In countries where HBO Max isn't available, it will be released just in theaters.
We have seen many tentpole movies either get delayed or put on streaming or PVOD this year. For Disney, their two biggest offerings were Mulan as a pay to rent to eventually own situation that didn't go over too well and Soul going to Disney+. For Warner Bros., the biggest movie that everyone has been wondering what they would do with Wonder Woman 1984. This was set up as one of the most anticipated movies of 2020, and Warner Bros. and DC were likely hoping that it would crack a billion at the box office. As the United States failed to get its collective shit together when it comes to COVID-19, it was becoming more and more apparent that Wonder Woman 1984 was probably not coming to theaters.
It turns out we were wrong as Warner Bros. embraces the theatrical and streaming model at the same time. This release, combined with Universal Pictures shortening its release windows with AMC Theatres and Cinemark, means that the very long conversation the movie theater industry has been avoiding having for years is finally happening. A massive blockbuster is opening on streaming and in theaters, and now we have to talk about how they will adapt to this new model. If it works out for Warner Bros., we can assume this won't be a one-off thing. If it doesn't? Well, we can hope everyone stops acting like wearing a mask, and social distancing is somehow infringing on their rights as human beings.
UPDATE: Director Patty Jenkins has released a statement on the decision to release the movies in theaters and HBO Max:
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) November 18, 2020