‘Wonder Woman 1984’: Patty Jenkins Is ‘So Sad’ the Movie Didn’t Get a Full Box Office Release

After many postponements, Wonder Woman 1984 was finally released on Christmas 2020. The superhero film is now available in some theaters and on HBO Max. But the movie‘s director, Patty Jenkins, was “sad” that the Wonder Woman sequel didn’t get a full theatrical release.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ director comments on the full movie streaming on HBO Max

Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins
Patty Jenkins at the American Film Institute’s 45th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Diane Keaton on June 8, 2017 | Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner

Jenkins, the filmmaker behind Wonder Woman, told The New York Times she saw the streaming-service writing on the wall way ahead of time.

“It was weird, because the whole year I was afraid of that,” Jenkins admitted (about Wonder Woman 1984 streaming digitally). However, the higher-ups were all telling her the opposite.

“No way, we’ll never do that,” they said, “because you have to make so much money with this thing.” Eventually: the HBO Max conversation did come up.

“… when they suggested it, I was shocked,” the director explained.

Still, Jenkins seems to be at peace with how the Wonder Woman 1984 distribution worked out.

“We did not agree right away — it was a very, very long process, and I don’t know that they would have let us disagree based on what they’ve been doing now,” she said. “But I was conveniently into it for this movie.”

How Patty Jenkins felt about the limited box office release

Jenkins also nostalgically reflected on the power of the movie theater with The New York Times.

“There were plenty of people at the studio who didn’t quite understand or were not very confident in the film,” she said about her 2017 movie Wonder Woman. However, that all transformed at the the theater “on the night of the premiere.”

“… everything changed on a dime,” Jenkins told the paper, “and watching people freak out and react to the things I wanted them to react to was amazing.”

While Wonder Woman 1984 had a U.S. theatrical release, it was much more limited than normal, due to the COVDI-19 pandemic. How is the director feeling about the very 2020 experience?

“I’m so sad I’m not getting that this time,” she lamented. “It’s such a bummer.”

Chris Pine and Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984
Chris Pine and Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984 | Clay Enos/DC Comics

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2020 could have been a much different story for film, Jenkins continued.

“It would have been a news story about women making so much money in the box office this year,” she explained.

The filmmaker observed “release plans for would-be blockbusters like her film and Niki Caro’s Mulan (for Disney) shift after the pandemic forced many theaters to close,” The Times reported.

“However, the more important thing is the movie finding its right audience, who is hungry for that experience,” the Wonder Woman director shared.

How ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ did at the box office

Despite Jenkins’ sadness about the limited theatrical debut, Wonder Woman 1984 actually exceeded expectations at the box office.

The Washington Post reported that the movie earned “$16.7 million in the United States during the Friday-Sunday Christmas holiday weekend,” which accounts for almost “2 million tickets sold.”

Those opening-weekend results make Jenkins’ new film a 2020 history-breaker; Wonder Woman 1984 earned the “highest three-day totals for any new movie in American theaters since pandemic lockdowns began last March.”