“Wonder Woman 1984” isn’t skipping theaters or moving to 2021, but it is altering course. The last big blockbuster holdout of 2020 is still opening in U.S. theaters on Christmas Day but it will also be made available to HBO Max subscribers free of charge for its first month, Warner Bros. said Wednesday.
The film will also debut in international theaters on Dec. 16.
“As we navigate these unprecedented times, we’ve had to be innovative in keeping our businesses moving forward while continuing to super-serve our fans,” said Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group in a statement.
It is an unprecedented strategy for a film of its size, but a sign of the extraordinary measures that many Hollywood studios have had to resort to in the COVID 19-era. Most major films that had been set for 2020 have either delayed theatrical releases until 2021 or sent them to streaming platforms for a premium rental price, as the Walt Disney Co. did with “Mulan.”
Audiences have not been going back to the theaters in significant numbers since they began to reopen across the country in late August and most studios have pushed their biggest films, from the James Bond film “No Time to Die” to “West Side Story” and “Black Widow” to next year.