So Maybe “Wonder Woman 1984” Isn’t Doomed After All
In my defense, one can only make projections based on data one has access to. And given what we all knew at the time, I still stand by my claim that if something didn’t change, Wonder Woman 1984‘s cinema-and-streaming release would have been a spectacular failure. But then something happened. Something pretty huge. Earlier this week, the movie’s director Patty Jenkins announced on Twitter that it would debut on HBO Max in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. And that, in my opinion,
First things first, it means I and millions of other American nerds will be able to watch WW84on Day One in better-than-movie-theater quality from the comforts of our cootie-free homes. Second, I think the simple knowledge that HBO Max is capable of 4K HDR streaming is going to spark a level of interest in the streaming service that hasn’t existed before now. True, HBO Max is still a nightmare to sign up for and log into, especially if you already have a satellite subscription or mobile data plan that gives you free access to the service. But that’s merely one major stumbling block when there used to be two. (For what it’s worth, word around the streaming campfire is that WarnerMedia and Roku are finally on the verge of settling their ongoing squabble, meaning HBO Max should soon be available on the largest streaming ecosystem in the world.)
Simply put, if we don’t see HBO Max subscriptions skyrocket over the next month in response to this announcement, I’ll eat my Wonder Woman Underoos. (Yes, I own them. Yes, I wear them. No, I don’t care what you think about that.)
Another thing that gives me some small measure of reason to believe WarnerMedia may finally be emerging from the cloud of bad decisions that has plagued it throughout 2020 is the company’s announcement this week that all of its 2021 blockbusters will be debuting on HBO Max (and in cinemas) day-and-date going forward. That means The Matrix 4. That means The Many Saints of Newark and The Suicide Squad. And most importantly, that means Denis
Villeneuve’s Dune, originally my most anticipated film of 2020, and now one of the few I actually care about coming in the next year. All of these films will be hitting HBO Max on the same day they hit whatever American cinemas happen to be open at the time.
Warner is describing this as a “unique one-year plan,” and that’s fine. What’s crucial here is that instead of being reactionary, as it has since this pandemic began, the company is finally being decisive and proactive. This, combined with WW84‘s worldwide release in countries that aren’t currently plague-plagued (a week before Christmas, interestingly enough), gives me hope the movie won’t flop spectacularly as I previously thought it would.
If nothing else, I can say I’ll be tuning in to check out WW84 on HBO Max (after I watch Soul on Disney+, mind you) when I had absolutely no interest in doing so this time last week. And I can’t be alone in that.
Dennis Burger is an avid Star Wars scholar, Tolkien fanatic, and Corvette enthusiast who somehow also manages to find time for technological passions including high-end audio, home automation, and video gaming. He lives in the armpit of Alabama with his wife Bethany and their four-legged child Bruno, a 75-pound American Staffordshire Terrier who thinks he’s a Pomeranian.