If you haven’t found time to watch Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max — and you still want to see what all the fuss is about — there are only a couple more days to do so.
Wonder Woman 1984 will leave HBO Max on Sunday, January 24th. This was always part of the plan. It will play for many weeks exclusively in theaters before making its way to digital avenues again, WarnerMedia confirmed to The Verge in November. Wonder Woman 1984 will then go through the traditional windowing system (becoming available for purchase on digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon) before likely returning to HBO Max. In parts of the United States where movie theaters are open, that leaves people with a less than perfect option to see the movie, but an option nonetheless. In parts of the country where theaters are closed, like New York City and Los Angeles, it leaves people without any legal options.
The film has only grossed $35.8 million domestically — less than Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which saw about $58 million in domestic ticket sales — which is a far cry from Wonder Woman’s $412.8 million domestic run in 2017, a pre-COVID era. Internationally, where the movie is only available to watch in theaters, Wonder Woman 1984 has generated $106.7 million to date — another loss compared to Nolan’s Tenet, but cases were relatively lower when Tenet came out at the beginning of September compared to the holiday season.
The film has, however, apparently generated a number of signups for HBO Max, according to WarnerMedia. Still, the company did not state how many people actually signed up for HBO Max when Wonder Woman 1984 premiered or how many people watched the film. If HBO Max saw millions of people sign up over the holidays for Wonder Woman 1984, helping to bolster subscribers for the streaming service, the massive box office loss might be a little bit easier to swallow, albeit painful regardless.
Still, part of WarnerMedia’s release strategy was to only carry the films on HBO max for 31 days upon release. It makes sense to some extent; typically, most films see the biggest ticket sales within the first three weeks of release. By that logic, most people who want to sign up for HBO Max to specifically watch Wonder Woman 1984 would have done so already. Putting the film back in theaters for an exclusive run, even four weeks into its release, is perhaps one way to try and appease theater owner groups.
Where it really stings is for people looking to sit down in a week or two to watch a bunch of DC movies or finally get around to Wonder Woman 1984 and not being able to watch the film. Especially when people don’t know exactly when the movie will return. Although, at least the movie was released and people were able to see it for a little while. The rest of the industry is currently delaying, selling off, and figuring out what to do with their movies this year — and it’s not looking super great.