Warner Bros. had big news to announce on Wednesday evening. The highly-anticipated superhero movie Wonder Woman 1984 will be released on Christmas Day. But a different approach is being taken with that release.
Due to spikes in COVID-19 cases around the United States, the movie will debut in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. This unprecedented move differs from the release of Mulan on Disney-Plus earlier in the year, as streaming Wonder Woman 1984 won’t have any additional costs attached to it.
This is huge news for the movie industry. To have one of the projected top money-making films of 2020 forego theater-only access for the ability to stream at no extra cost is a unique decision that will ultimately hit the bottom line of the movie’s gross profits.
The second installment of the Wonder Woman series will still be available in select theaters, but one has to wonder if this approach will become more widely adopted as issues surrounding the national pandemic continue.
Leading actress Gal Gadot took to Twitter with a statement on Wednesday night to expand on the news.
“IT’S TIME. We’ve all waited a long time for this one to come. I can’t tell you how excited I am for all of you to see this movie. It wasn’t an easy decision and we never thought we’d have to hold onto the release for such a long time but Covid rocked all of our worlds. We feel the movie has never been so relevant and we hope that it’ll bring some joy, hope and love to your hearts. Wonder Woman 1984 is a special one for me and I can only hope it’ll be as special to you too. We’ve put our hearts and souls into it. So… you can watch it IN THEATERS (they’re doing an amazing job keeping it safe) and you can watch it on HBOMax from your homes. Sending you my love. Please keep safe and wear a mask. Happy holidays to all of us! Let the light shine in.”
The movie had already been delayed due to ongoing concerns with the coronavirus. But the release news comes as the biggest shock. It will be worth monitoring the see how the film does from a financial standpoint, but it could be a new day in the business of cinema.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.