WarnerMedia took a gamble in announcing a new hybrid model for its upcoming 2021 theatrical slates, and it appears to have paid off – at least with one movie.
Warner Bros Pictures announced that it has fast-tracked development on a third installment of the Wonder Woman franchise. The third film will be both written and directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot. No word yet on who else is signed on to return for the third installment.
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 and an estimated $36.1 million globally from 42 markets in release (including U.S and Canada). This makes the worldwide tally to $85 million.
Since this was a hybrid release film, HBO Max has reported that the total viewing hours on Friday – the films premiere day- more than tripled in comparison to a typical day in the previous month. Nearly half of the platform’s subscribers viewed the film on its arriving day, along with millions of other subscribers via cable, wireless or other partners.
This hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S. While many criticized this action, WarnerMedia was adamant that it was a “win-win-win” model while also offering a safe viewing option for consumers. The film was added with an exclusive one-month access period on HBO Max. Following the one-month, Wonder Woman 1984 will leave the platform but continue theatrically in the U.S and international territories.
“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.”
Currently WW1984 is playing in over 2,100 theaters nationwide with limited capacity and even closures in top markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia, among others. The number represents about half of the theaters and locations when compared to the first Wonder Woman, which opened to 4,165 theaters at 100% capacity. 40 markets internationally opened Wonder Woman 1984 in the first two weeks representing 68% of total box office, compared to 2017 with 58 markets representing 77% of total box office for Wonder Woman.
Over the weekend private watch parties and large format screens (IMAX, Dolby, PLF) drove ticket sales and were the most popular option among consumers. 10,000 private rentals were booked, an innovative and popular way for audiences to feel comfortable watching the film in their own social bubbles.
Wonder Woman 1984 can be seen at your local theater and on HBO Max.