Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984”.
Six weeks before “Wonder Woman 1984” debuted in theaters, Warner Bros. executives are still debating the film’s release strategy.
According to multiple media reports, studio managers are torn between a strategy of getting the film out at Christmas and then adding it to the company’s HBO Max streaming service in January, and postponing its theatrical debut until summer 2021.
Warner Bros. representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Internal considerations tend towards the hybrid release model. This would allow theater chains to make a profit on ticket sales during initial release and then make subscriber sign-ups for the company’s streaming platform.
However, if Wonder Woman 1984 goes to HBO Max, it is unlikely to see theaters cut, as AMC is doing with its premium video-on-demand deal with Universal. After all, HBO Max is a monthly subscription fee, not a pay-per-play-on-demand service.
So it’s unclear how theater chains would feel such a narrow theater window with little chance of winning when the film hits the domestic market.
Variety points out in its report that “Wonder Woman 1984 “is easily a multi-billion dollar box office hit, something that is difficult for studio managers to ignore.
The promise of a coronavirus vaccine, which could be widespread by mid-2021, could lead Warner Bros. to keep the film on until next summer. After all AT & T. Boss John Stankey has already signaled his lack of confidence in the short-term recovery of the film industry.
In October he said “Tenet”, which was released internationally in August and domestically in September, was not a “home run”. While the Christopher Nolan film performed well in overseas markets, it raised only $ 55 million to date during its run in the United States and Canada.
This poor representation, combined with a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the US, could convince Warner Bros. to postpone Wonder Woman 1984 to June or July 2021.
If the film is postponed, there will be only one major film release in 2020: “The Croods: A New Age” for Thanksgiving. This would destroy theater chains and likely drive some of them into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Cinema chains big and small have already warned that they need new content to stay open and up and running. These companies are bleeding money and struggling to stay open long enough to show new films to the public.
With no demand-inducing titles like “Wonder Woman 1984”, these chains have announced they will have to file for bankruptcy in order to stay open and restructure their debts. Especially when you consider that the movie calendar doesn’t contain many blockbuster releases until March 2021.