Wonder Woman 1984 may not have completely wowed critics in its much-delayed Christmas Day debut, but it did do enough to get people out of their homes and into movie theaters during the holiday weekend to garner a third film in the series. It also saw a huge number of HBO Max subscribers take advantage of access to the film from the comfort of their homes.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Sunday that the second Gal Gadot-led Wonder Woman set a pandemic box office record, taking in $16.7 million according to Warner Bros. That news came with word that Gadot and director Patty Jenkins will return for a widely-expected third film.
Any sign of moviegoing is welcome news for Hollywood even if WW94 scored the lowest number in decades for a yuletide winner. The film unfurled in 2,150 cinemas domestically on Dec. 25.
Globally, the DC superhero sequel has now earned $85 million at the box office.
“As fans around the world continue to embrace Diana Prince, driving the strong opening weekend performance of Wonder Woman 1984, we are excited to be able continue her story with our real life Wonder Women – Gal and Patty – who will return to conclude the long-planned theatrical trilogy,” said Emmerich.
As THR noted, only about 40 percent of movie theaters in the United States are even open right now due either to coronavirus pandemic business restrictions or large chains keeping locations shuttered as a result of restrictions put in place earlier in 2020. Which is no surprise that a lot of people watched the movie on HBO Max. In fact, the story noted Warners reporting nearly half of its “retail subscribers” watching the film on Christmas Day.
Nearly half of the platform’s retail subscribers viewed the film on the day of its arrival, along with millions of wholesale subscribers who have access to HBO Max via a cable, wireless, or other partner services. HBO Max also saw the total viewing hours on Friday more than triple in comparison to a typical day in the previous month, the company said Sunday.
“Wonder Woman 1984 broke records and exceeded our expectations across all of our key viewing and subscriber metrics in its first 24 hours on the service, and the interest and momentum we’re seeing indicates this will likely continue well beyond the weekend,” said WarnerMedia direct-to-consumer chief Andy Forssell.
The wording makes it sound like it may not be half of the total HBO Max subscriber base, as several other TV and media deals provide hypothetical access to the streaming service as well. But it’s still a huge number of people taking advantage of HBO Max for what has become a big boon for the network starting on December 25 and extending into 2021: getting Warner Bros. films on the platform the same day they arrive in theaters.
It’s also important to note that the movie hit the platform at noon that day, not at midnight. Which means they got a LOT of streams of Wonder Woman 1984 in the first 12 hours. That sort of viewing rate may not hold up for every Warners movie that hits HBO Max in the next year, but as a proof of concept for the company it certainly seems like people are taking advantage of the added benefit. And the box office numbers, though obviously depressed due to the pandemic, were still notable despite the multiple viewing options available.