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Could ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ go to HBO Max sooner than expected?

The film is still scheduled to be released in theaters on Christmas Day, but the recent spike in COVID-19 cases reportedly has studio executives looking at other options.

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“Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot, opens June 2.

“Wonder Woman 1984” is currently still scheduled to be released in theaters on Christmas Day, but concerns about the coronavirus pandemic might cause Warner Bros. to release the film on HBO Max soon after.

Warner Bros.

“Wonder Woman 1984” has already seen several release dates come and go this year. But while the film is still scheduled to come to theaters on Christmas Day — one of the only major films still on the 2020 calendar — Warner Bros. is starting to look at other options, Bloomberg reported.

One of those options could be delaying the release of “Wonder Woman 1984” yet again. Another option involves releasing the film on HBO Max sooner than expected, according to Bloomberg.

What’s going on

  • The recent spike in COVID-19 cases is causing Warner Bros. to rethink the release of “Wonder Woman 1984,” according to Variety.
  • The studio is considering postponing the film’s theatrical release until summer 2021, with the hope that a COVID-19 vaccine would have time to be disseminated by then, Variety reported.
  • But executives are leaning toward a “hybrid release” for “Wonder Woman,” with the movie going to theaters on Christmas before arriving on HBO Max in January, according to CNBC.
  • The hybrid release would benefit struggling theater chains with ticket sales and increase subscribers for HBO Max.

Some context

  • Warner Bros. released Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” to theaters in August. In October, the company said the film was not “a home run” for the studio, as the Deseret News reported.
  • “Tenet” has seen more success internationally, but has only earned $55 million so far in the U.S. and Canada, according to CNBC.

  • In a pre-pandemic world, “Wonder Woman 1984” was expected to gross $1 billion worldwide, according to Variety. But it will likely earn far less if released to theaters in December.
  • However, sending “Wonder Woman 1984” to HBO Max could give the streaming service — which has struggled to compete with other services like Netflix and Amazon — a boost of subscribers, similar to Disney Plus with “Hamilton” earlier this year, according to Variety.