In an unprecedented move, “Wonder Woman 1984” will open on Christmas Day in theaters and simultaneously on HBO Max, director Patty Jenkins announced on Wednesday.
“At some point you have to choose to share any love and joy you have to give, over everything else,” she tweeted. “We love our movie as we love our fans, so we truly hope that our film brings a little bit of joy and reprieve to all of you this holiday season.”
Jenkins also tossed a shout-out to movie theaters: “Watch it IN THEATERS, where it is made safe to do so (check out the great work theaters have done to make it so!) And available in the safety of your home on HBOMAX where it is not.”
While “Wonder Woman 1984” will be released in theaters and HBO Max in the U.S. on Dec. 25, it will debut theatrically in international markets a week earlier, on Dec. 16. The film will be available for a month on HBO Max in the U.S. at no additional cost to subscribers.
The move follows the underwhelming box office for “Tenet,” as well as Disney’s decision to give the similarly big-budget “Mulan” a premium streaming release that skipped theaters. The news also comes after two big theater chains, AMC Theaters and Cinemark, reached a deal with Universal to radically change the theatrical window and share in premium video-on-demand profits.
The superhero sequel starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins has gone through a multitude of release date changes in recent months. It was meant to open back in June, then was pushed to October and then pushed again to Christmas Day due to the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns of movie theaters worldwide.
Gadot returns for the sequel to 2017’s “Wonder Woman,” which fast-forwards the action from World War II to 1984, where the heroine will take on a new villain played by Kristen Wiig. Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen also star.
The original “Wonder Woman” grossed $412.5 million domestic and $821.8 million globally.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. announced several release date changes on Oct. 5. Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” was moved from its December 2020 release date to Oct. 1, 2021, originally the home of “The Batman.” Meanwhile, the upcoming new installment of “The Matrix” series was moved from April 2022 to December 2021, “The Flash” was pushed from June 2022 to November 2022, “Shazam! 2” moved from November 2022 to June 2023 and Dwayne Johnson’s “Black Adam” was taken off the schedule.