Christmas Day is going to be a big one for streaming movie fans. Warner Bros. has announced that its long-awaited superhero sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, will debut on HBO Max on December 25 in the US. The movie will also be released in theaters in the US that same day, or at least the ones that are open. The movie will actually be released in theaters overseas earlier, on December 16.
However, there’s a catch to this release strategy. In Warner Bros’ press release, the studio said Wonder Woman 1984 will only be available for HBO Max subscribers for one month following its release. Presumably, the movie will return to the streaming service sometime later in 2021 after its theatrical and PVOD/Blu-Ray/DVD time frames.
The sequel to the hit 2017 film has seen more than one release date delay. It was originally due for release in theaters in late 2019, then it was moved to June 2020. However, due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the film became one of many to move its release date, first to October 2020, and finally to its December 25 release date.
However, it looks like Warner Bros has realized that the COVID-19 crisis is not going away anytime soon in the US. Thus, it decided to give people a way to watch Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max at home.
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The movie itself is being co-written and directed by Patty Jenkins, who also directed the first Wonder Woman movie. Gal Gadot returns as the nearly immortal Amazon warrior Diana, who has been hiding out in our world for decades following the events of the first movie. However, when a mysterious man named Maxwell Lord tells the world he can give anyone whatever they want, things get complicated. Chris Pine also returns as Steve Trevor, and Kristen Wiig plays one of Wonder Woman’s biggest foes, Cheetah.
Competition with Disney Plus?
The launch of Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max in the US will coincide with another major movie launching on a competing platform. Soul, the latest animation feature from Disney’s Pixar studio, will debut on the Disney Plus streaming service on December 25 as well.
The launch of Wonder Woman 1984 and Soul on streaming platforms will cap an extraordinary 2020 in the film industry. The COVID-19 outbreak that started in March caused a ton of major movie releases to either delay their launches until 2021 or further, due to most theaters closing, or launch their films on streaming services. That includes Artemis Fowl, Hamilton and Mulan on Disney Plus, and Scoob and The Witches on HBO Max.