How ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Did at the Box Office, Despite the HBO Max Release
Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot, Pedro Pascal, and Kristen Wiig, is one of the only movies in its genre to hit a streaming service (HBO Max) the same day as theaters. Given that Patty Jenkins’ new Wonder Woman movie had a limited box office release — and a streaming platform release — how did the pandemic-era film do with ticket sales?
The ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ box office results
According to the Washington Post, Wonder Woman 1984 raked in “$16.7 million in the United States” over the holiday weekend it opened. This adds up to almost 2 million tickets in the Friday-to-Sunday period.
Box office numbers “easily topped the other two major theatrical releases since the pandemic began,” the Post continued. That includes the Christopher Nolan drama, Tenet, and the animated movie, The Croods: A New Age. Per the publication:
Both of those titles failed to take in $10 million over Friday-Sunday periods on holiday weekends (Labor Day and Thanksgiving, respectively). The $16.7 million total also exceeds the $12-$14 million many pundits had forecast.
Wonder Woman 1984 also broke records for this slow year at the theaters. The film’s ticket sales’ account for the “highest 3-day totals for any new movie in American theaters since pandemic lockdowns began last March.”
This is especially impressive considering the movie was also streaming digitally.
How is the film doing internationally?
Wonder Woman 1984 has also performed well overseas, earning “nearly $70 million,” according to The Post.
This tells the Warner Bros., the paper argues, they “would be incentivized to press ahead with the property as a big-budget theatrical blockbuster.”
How many people watched ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ on HBO Max?
“Warner Bros. did not meaningfully quantify what the HBO Max audience was for the film,” The Washington Post confirmed.
The studio reported simply that “millions” of the platform’s “wholesale customers” (of which there are 8 million) watched. Also, “nearly half” of the “retail subscribers” (of which there are a few million) viewed Wonder Woman 1984.
WB doesn’t have to say how many HBO Max subscribers the film attracted. Per the Post, that’s “a main reason the company put it there.”
“AT&T risks not just financial losses but political fallout by upending the traditional theatrical-exclusivity model, and it would want to see a meaningful bump in subscribers in order to do so,” the publication explained.
The Wonder Woman 1984 hybrid release was in many ways a test for the industry.
The movie did surprisingly well at the box office. But The Washington Post wonders if the “$16.7 million may also reflect a hardcore devotion that won’t scale up for a release during normal times.” Usually, this kind of big-budget movie would rake in around $100 million in the U.S. alone.
Not to mention, it’s difficult to gauge a pandemic habit versus a normal-times one. The Post notes the possibility of “novelty factor” with the new film.
“… Consumers, accustomed to going to the movies in December, finally had a reason to leave the house,” the paper posits. “Such factors would not be in place during normal times.”