The WarnerMedia streaming service HBOMax needs a breakout hit, and coming Christmas Day, it’s hoping to have one. “Wonder Woman 1984,” starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins, will open in theaters and stream on HBOMax starting the same day this December.
It’s an unprecedented move for a movie of this size. The film likely cost well over $200 million to make. In non-pandemic times, it would aim to earn close to $1 billion at the box office. But with people stuck at home and many theaters still closed, WarnerMedia has decided to gamble that those box office losses will be recouped with streaming gains. The hope is that “Wonder Woman 1984” will lead to a huge boost in subscribers to HBOMax, but the company will most likely never reveal those numbers. With this move, WarnerMedia is getting rid of the window between theatrical release and home viewing altogether.
And another studio made recent moves to get that window smaller. Universal struck a deal with the theater chain Cinemark to allow some movies to start streaming after only 17 days in theaters. For movies that make more than $50 million at the box office on opening weekend, the wait for streaming will be 31 days.