Warner Bros. announced the news Wednesday night, after the DC flick experienced multiple delays due to the ongoing pandemic. The film, starring Gal Gadot, was originally scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 13, 2019 before it was moved up to Nov. 1, 2019. It was then pushed back to June 5, 2020, then to Aug. 14. and later to Oct. 2.
"As we navigate these unprecedented times, we’ve had to be innovative in keeping our businesses moving forward while continuing to super-serve our fans," Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said in a press release. "This is an amazing film that really comes to life on the big screen and, working with our partners in the exhibition community, we will provide that option to consumers in the U.S. where theaters are open. We realize that a lot of consumers can’t go back to the movies due to the pandemic, so we also want to give them the option to see Wonder Woman 1984 via our HBO Max platform.”
The studio confirmed Wonder Woman 1984 will hit international markets, where HBO Max is unavailable, on Dec. 16.
News of the digital release comes as the United States experiences another surge in coronavirus cases, further casting uncertainty over the movie theater industry. Cinemas across the country have either been completely closed down or are operating at a limited capacity as more and more cities and states begin reimpose restrictions. Theaters in major markets like New York City and Los Angeles have yet to resume business, which has led many studios to either postpone the premieres or ditch the traditional release in favor of a PVOD debut.
Disney's Mulan was among some of the biggest titles that were originally intended for a theatrical release but ultimately premiered on VOD services. However, unlike Disney's live-action remake, Wonder Woman 1984 will be available on streaming services at no additional costs to subscribers. (The service is currently $14.99 per month.)
The film's director Patty Jenkins commented on the move in a tweet shortly before Warner Bros's confirmation, writing: "Watch it IN THEATERS, where it is made safe to do so ... And available in the safety of your home on HBO Max ... Happy holidays to all of you. We hope you enjoy our film as much as we enjoyed making it."