WW1984’s HBO Max Debut Breaks Usage Record
Warner Bros. Pictures announced that it will fast-track development on the third installment of the Wonder Woman franchise to be written by Patty Jenkins, who is attached to direct, and starring Gal Gadot. Wonder Woman 1984 easily conquered the holiday weekend, exceeding box office projections as the top post-pandemic domestic opening weekend for any feature film this year, with $16.7 million in box office. Wonder Woman 1984 took in an estimated $36.1 million globally from 42 markets in release this weekend (including U.S. and Canada). This takes the international running cume to $68.3 million, and the worldwide tally to $85 million. The film has been welcomed by fans, with an overall CinemaScore of B+. The announcement was made today by Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
“As fans around the world continue to embrace Diana Prince, driving the strong opening weekend performance of Wonder Woman 1984, we are excited to be able to continue her story with our real-life Wonder Women – Gal and Patty – who will return to conclude the long-planned theatrical trilogy,” said Emmerich.
On HBO Max, anticipation for Wonder Woman 1984 was apparent, with nearly half of the platform’s retail subscribers viewing the film on the day of its arrival, along with millions of wholesale subscribers who have access to HBO Max via a cable, wireless, or other partner services. HBO Max also saw the total viewing hours on Friday more than triple in comparison to a typical day in the previous month.
“Wonder Woman 1984 broke records and exceeded our expectations across all of our key viewing and subscriber metrics in its first 24 hours on the service, and the interest and momentum we’re seeing indicates this will likely continue well beyond the weekend,” said Andy Forssell, Executive Vice President and General Manager, WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer. “During these very difficult times, it was nice to give families the option of enjoying this uplifting film at home, where theater viewing wasn’t an option.”
Private watch parties and large format screens (IMAX®, Dolby, PLF) drove ticket sales and were the most popular option among consumers. Over the weekend, over 10,000 private rentals were booked, an innovative and popular way for audiences to feel comfortable watching the film in their own social bubbles. In the U.S., only 39% of U.S. cinemas (representing 56% of the box office) are currently open at limited capacity, with closures in top markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, among others. WW1984 is playing in over 2,100 theaters nationwide with limited capacity. This represents about half of the locations and, in these theaters, half of the available seating compared to a pre-pandemic environment. The first Wonder Woman film was available at 4,165 theaters in 2017 at 100% seating. In Canada, only 5% of theatres (representing 3% of the total Canadian box-office) are open. The Canadian theatrical market was supplemented with a PVOD day and date release which yielded an additional estimated $4 million. 40 markets internationally opened Wonder Woman 1984 in the first two weeks representing 68% of the total box office, compared to 2017 with 58 markets representing 77% of the total box office for Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman 1984 was released via a unique, consumer-focused distribution model in which Warner Bros. exhibited the film theatrically worldwide while adding an exclusive one-month access period on the HBO Max streaming platform in the U.S. concurrent with the film’s domestic release. This hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S. Following the one-month HBO Max access period domestically, Wonder Woman 1984 will leave the platform and continue theatrically in the U.S. and international territories, with all customary distribution windows applying to the title.
From director Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot in the title role, Wonder Woman 1984 fast forwards to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big-screen adventure finds her riding lightning across the sky, donning wings of gold, and chasing a dream while in pursuit of two new formidable foes: Max Lord and the Cheetah. In Wonder Woman 1984, the fate of the world is once more on the line, and only Wonder Woman can save it. This new chapter in the Wonder Woman story finds Diana Prince living quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s – an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile, curating ancient artifacts and only performing her superheroic acts incognito. But now, Diana will have to step directly into the spotlight and muster all her wisdom, strength, and courage in order to save mankind from a world of its own making. The film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as the Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as Antiope, and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta.
Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, and Stephen Jones produced the film. Rebecca Steel Roven Oakley, Richard Suckle, Marianne Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong Vo, and Wesley Coller served as the executive producers. Jenkins directed from a screenplay she wrote with Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham, story by Jenkins and Johns, based on characters from DC. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston. Warner Bros. Pictures Presents an Atlas Entertainment/Stone Quarry Production, a Patty Jenkins Film, Wonder Woman 1984. The film is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was released in theaters internationally beginning December 16, and in the U.S. in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25, 2020.