While COVID is still wreaking havoc on our everyday lives, movie studios have been forced to get creative with the release of their big-budget films. Marvel has seemingly ducked their heads into the sand, refusing to release any new movies this year. That’s the first time for them since 2009, but other studios may go even longer without a new release. Warner Bros. has decided to completely buck that trend though, as they’ve announced “Wonder Woman 1984” will debut on HBO Max later this year.
While this isn’t an ENTIRELY original idea, this is the first time consumers won’t have to pay extra for a new release movie. Disney released Mulan to Disney+ subscribers for a $29.99 viewing fee. HBO Max subscribers need only pay their monthly subscription fee. Yes, that’s right. Wonder Woman 1984 will be available to stream for free to any HBO Max subscribers for one month at no additional cost.
Releasing films through a digital service is no doubt a reaction to how shaky the box office numbers can be in the COVID era. Warner Bros already have a theater bomb on their hands with Christopher Nolan’s massively budgeted Tenet. Despite the movie itself being very good, people just flat out didn’t go see it. The safety net of movie theater audiences is diminishing every day as COVID shows no signs of regressing. With studios more and more hesitant to release blockbuster films, we could be on the verge of a renaissance period within the industry. We’ve already seen services like Netflix show that they can carry big-ticket projects without losing too much momentum with their audiences, maybe it’s about time for studios to do the same.