It’s official: Wonder Woman 1984 will still hit theaters Christmas Day 2020, but it will also start streaming on HBO Max that very same day.
Warner Bros. announced the news this week. The film will stream for a month at no additional cost to HBO Max subscribers. Internationally, where the streaming service is not available, the plan is still to release WW84 in theaters. It will actually open a week earlier than expected on December 16, 2020.
On the joint release strategy, Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said:
“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. This is an amazing film that really comes to life on the big screen and, working with our partners in the exhibition community, we will provide that option to consumers in the U.S. where theaters are open. We realize that a lot of consumers can’t go back to the movies due to the pandemic, so we also want to give them the option to see Wonder Woman 1984 via our HBO Max platform.”
Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t the first Warner Bros. title to forgo a theatrical release and head to streaming this year. Scoob and The Witches were both slated to hit theaters, but ended up going to VOD and HBO Max. Is this new hybrid theater-streaming release the new future? Likely for the short term, but unlikely beyond the pandemic.
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has emphasized that the studio still “believe in theaters because hundreds of millions of fans around the world value going to the movies. And for as long as fans seek out the theatrical experience, we will be there to serve them with great movies in partnership with exhibitors.”
Amazon has announced when Coming 2 America will hit Prime Video. The upcoming sequel to the 1980s Eddie Murphy classic will begin streaming March 5, 2021. Original studio Paramount reportedly sold the film to Amazon for around $125 million.
Coming 2 America is the second huge comedic acquisition for Amazon after it secured the global rights to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm which has been a huge success for the platform. Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke said they are excited to release the sequel to the world:
“Coming to America was a cultural phenomenon that is one of the most loved and celebrated comedies of all time. Thanks to Eddie Murphy’s comedic genius along with the brilliant filmmakers, writers and fabulous cast, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this new adventure. We know audiences around the world will fall in love with this hilarious, joyful movie that will surely become a timeless favorite.”
Quick note: Sony has once again delayed Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. The sequel will now hit theaters April 4, 2021. It was originally (i.e., pre-COVID) set to hit theaters back on April 3, 2020.
Finally, Variety reports that A24 has set a release for its upcoming Oscar contender Minari. The film will open in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 11, 2020. It will then expand wide on February 12, 2021. Other sites are stating that this is a huge show of support for the film from A24. There’s a good chance that star Steven Yeun will receive a Best Actor nominee — which would make him the first Asian-American actor to be nominated for the category.
Thoughts on Wonder Woman 1984 heading to theaters and streaming on the same day? Are you excited for Coming 2 America and Minari?