When the HBO Max deal was first announced, it was teased as just Wonder Woman 1984 coming to theaters and HBO Max at the same time. Now we know that behind closed doors, Warner Bros. was planning on doing the same with their other titles.
At the time, Patty Jenkins seemed to be embracing the opportunity to reach the widest audience possible.
Well, after Warner dropped their other titles planned on HBO Max, Jenkins had a while to assess the situation. In an interview with Jess Cagle on the SiriusXM Stars channel, Jenkins reacted to the news and to the decision to have WW84 debut online and in theaters simultaneously, saying there was “no good option.”
You can check out the exchange below. The entire interview will not post until next week.
Jenkins went on to say, "If you had told me a year ago that we would ever go straight to streaming in any way, shape, or form, I would have flipped out... Like I’m not for that plan in general, you know, I’m very pro-theatrical release and I will be that again, as soon as this is over."
She admitted the times were unique.
“However, this is such a crazy year," she said. "It’s such a crazy year. It’s like all of us are trying to figure out with our lives, how to do everything the best we can. And so I kept saying there is no good option. Like when we would talk about it, there was no good option. Wait until when. And then every movie in the world tries to come out at the same time. And you know, there was no good option. I literally gasped a little bit when the pitch for this idea was said, because I was like, ‘Oh, the idea of it going into people’s homes on Christmas Day.’”
The holidays were what sold her.
“I just was like, you know what, that’s actually pretty incredible to get to share whether, you know, it’s Christmas for people or not the holiday season and in this moment to just try to reach people however they can see it," she said.
I think this is another optimistic way to look at it. The first Wonder Woman felt like a cultural moment that defied the box office and became a talking point. Now, we get the same opportunity to enjoy the movie on Christmas Day, in the safety of our homes. Glowing early reviews make this even better news, as we have been starved for content this entire year.
Whether or not this marks a huge change in Hollywood is yet to be determined. Warner has said this is only a temporary solution. But I do think it's a nice way to treat people who have undergone extreme strife this year to a little glimmer of hope, sort of the beacon Wonder Woman has always represented culturally.
I also think Jenkins is right here. If you continue to push these movies, studios will lose buckets of money. Having them in theaters and at home simultaneously allows those who have been vaccinated to patronize theaters and those who may be vulnerable to stay home. It also stops the bleeding from studios.
Theaters obviously have trouble in this deal, but they were in trouble to begin with. I do not think this makes things worse.
This is a time with no easy answers. At least we are going to get things to watch.
Let us know what you think in the comments.