HBOMax has been in search of a buzzy hit, and starting on Christmas Day, the WarnerMedia streaming service is hoping it will have one. In a first for a blockbuster movie, “Wonder Woman 1984” will open in theaters and land on HBOMax on the same day.
With many movie theaters across the country still closed because of the pandemic, it’s unclear exactly how many theaters “Wonder Woman 1984” will actually be in, but WarnerMedia is making a gamble that even if the film doesn’t drive huge sales at the box office, it will lead to new subscriber signups at HBOMax. It’s another sign that for these massive media companies, streaming is the future.
Switching gears on a movie of this size complicates how a studio pays top tier talent and directors, who would normally get a cut of the backend profit from the box office. Without huge ticket sales, WarnerMedia will have to pay actress Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins a whole lot of money to make up for those missing backend payouts.