With the future of theaters very much in doubt in 2021 due to the continued global pandemic, WarnerMedia took the extraordinary step this year of opting to simultaneously release its films theatrically as well as on the HBO Max streaming service.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the films won't be on HBO Max in perpetuity. And the first such release — Wonder Woman 1984 — is about to roll off after a month of streaming. That's not to say you won't be able to watch it on demand at some point (or even on HBO Max again in the future.) It's just that this initial premiere run is over as of Jan. 25, 2021.
The 31-day streaming window always was the plan, and WarnerMedia made no secret of it. WW84 still made some $16.7 million in its opening Christmas weekend, and has eclipsed an estimated $33 million domestically in its first three weeks, and an estimated $135 million worldwide. That still hasn't made up the budget of $200 million, however. And WarnerMedia says nearly half of all HBO Max subscribers watched the movie on Christmas Day.
In any event, it's a fun movie, if not as good as the first. And it's done well enough that Warner Bros. is fast-tracking the final film in the Patty Jenkins trilogy.
Here's how our own Emma Fraser put things in our Wonder Woman 1984 review:
Women have long been plagued with the “having it all” question, which in the world of Sex and the City means a career versus family (or both) debate. In the case of Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), her version of this question is shaped not by children but rather pitting her superhero responsibilities with a slice of happiness. In Patty Jenkins’ second standalone Wonder Woman outing, yearning is a dominant theme in a narrative that takes on too much while still serving up enjoyable escapism in the process.
So if you want to catch the flick on HBO Max, you still can. Just be quick about it.
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