Wonder Woman 1984 is one of several big budget Hollywood movies to see its release schedule moved several times due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the latest plan for the Gal Gadot vehicle seems intent to be its last schedule change. Currently slated to arrive on Christmas Day, the movie will now hit whichever theaters remain open on the traditional movie holiday as well as HBO Max.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the DC Universe film will stick with a December 25 release, but will be available both on the streaming service as well as in theaters.
Warner Bros. announced Wednesday that the tentpole is all but giving up on a traditional theatrical release and will instead open in whatever cinemas remain open on Dec. 25 as well as stream on HBO Max that day.
That certainly signals a commitment to getting Wonder Woman 1984 released before the start of 2021 regardless of potential lockdown measures increasing in states where the COVID-19 pandemic is spiraling out of control.
WONDER WOMAN: 1984 on Christmas is official now. pic.twitter.com/95EsuQgJRR
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) November 19, 2020
As Variety notes, several films have gone straight to streaming services in 2020, though that sparked a bit of industry drama of its own. But the final months of 2020 present a different movie-going atmosphere than the full lockdown that saw Trolls World Tour and others hit VOD while theaters remained closed.
Though surprising, it’s not unprecedented for a major movie to debut simultaneously on home entertainment and in movie theaters. Universal Pictures opened “Trolls World Tour” on premium video-on-demand in April, when most cinemas were shuttered due to the pandemic.
The unconventional release plan comes as 50% of U.S. theaters are closed, including major moviegoing markets like New York and Los Angeles, and many still hesitant to go to the movies.
While other films like the James Bond title No Time To Die have already slipped into 2021 and other big budget films opening in theaters despite many still being closed, Wonder Woman 1984 will apparently try to thread the needle and go right to streaming while still giving some moviegoers something to see on the silver screen, if allowed by law.