Gadot-starrer ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ to have debut screening in theaters, HBO Max on Christmas
LOS ANGELES (US) – The movie “Wonder Woman 1984” will have its debut screening in US movie halls as well as on AT&T Inc’s HBO Max streaming service on Christmas Day.
On Wednesday, AT&T’s Warner Bros studio said the blockbuster flick will be screened in theatres outside the US where HBO Max is unavailable, starting on Dec. 16.
“For a movie of this scale, this is unprecedented,” WarnerMedia Chief Executive Jason Kilar said in a blog post explaining why they decided to screen the movie in theatres and homes simultaneously.
Usually, movies run in theatres for 75 days before they become available elsewhere.
An action film starring Gal Gadot, “Wonder Woman 1984” was earlier scheduled to be screened in June 2020.
But most of the summer blockbusters were delayed by Hollywood until 2021 because the pandemic left many theatres closed, affecting operators such as AMC Entertainment and Cineworld Group Plc.
“Wonder Woman 1984” was rescheduled many times and it is the last big-budget action flick on this year’s schedule.
The plan for the dual release was supported by director Patty Jenkins.
“At some point you have to choose to share any love and joy you have to give, over everything else,” Jenkins tweeted. “We truly hope that our film brings a little bit of joy and reprieve to all of you this holiday season.”
The Israeli actress and model said the move “wasn’t an easy decision.”
“We never thought we’d have to hold onto the release for such a long time,” she tweeted, “but COVID rocked all of our worlds.”
According to Kilar, the new strategy would benefit both theatre operators as well as the firm “in the form of fan response both theatrically and via HBO Max in the US.”
The firm is trying to woo new subscribers to HBO Max, a $15-per-month subscription launched in May to give competition to Netflix Inc.
However, it remains to be seen how many people will visit theatres during the pandemic to watch the movie when it is easily available on the streaming platform. Movie halls in Los Angeles and New York are closed while those in other areas have only limited ticket sales.
The movie is a sequel to the 2017 hit “Wonder Woman,” which grossed $821.8 million in global ticket sales.