HBO Max Lines Up Key Distribution for the ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Release


When WarnerMedia announced last month that the oft-delayed Wonder Woman 1984 would hit HBO Max right alongside its theatrical debut on Christmas, it was immediately poised to become the biggest streaming hit of the year. Since then, however, the company has worked overtime to ensure the Gal Gadot-led film has the widest possible reach when it comes to SVOD platforms.

In mid-November, it was announced that HBO Max would be made available on Amazon Fire TV streaming devices, Fire TV Edition smart TVs and Fire tablets, adding around 40 million U.S. users to its potential sphere of influence. Yesterday, WarnerMedia announced that HBO Max was now available for download on Sony’s PlayStation 5 and, more importantly, the Roku platform. The latter is the most popular streaming device worldwide and adds another 40 million-plus potential domestic users within HBO Max’s grasp. In other words, HBO Max has finally gotten all of its distribution ducks in a row right before the lucrative holiday gift giving season and its biggest content release yet.

But by all metrics and measurements, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 is looking like a streaming hit no matter what. According to Whip Media’s TV Time—which surveyed 6,220 US-based TV Time app users from 11/25/2020 to 11/30/2020 ages 18-54 years old—WarnerMedia’s Wonder Woman announcement led to the biggest spike in the film’s in-app followers over the last month.

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Among HBO Max subscribers, Wonder Woman 1984 fits squarely into two of the three top-ranked film genres: action/adventure and superhero. The only genre that ranked higher was comedy, which the original 2017 Wonder Woman also had in abundance.

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According to TV Time’s data, 67% of people are aware of the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 release on Dec. 25th and four out of five HBO Max subscribers plan to watch it. Men are more likely than women to be aware of the film premiere (75% vs 60%). Wonder Woman 1984 is the #1 most anticipated film releasing at the end of 2020 with Pixar’s Soul coming to Disney+ as #2. Most importantly, but perhaps not entirely surprising, is that existing HBO Max subscribers overwhelmingly prefer viewing Wonder Woman 1984 at home vs. the theater—77%said they would watch it on HBO Max, and only 9% noted wanting to watch it in a theater.

Wonder Woman 1984 HBO Max Roku Amazon

There’s little doubt that the highly-anticipated superhero sequel—which currently holds an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes—is a splashy, high-profile attraction. But HBO Max doesn’t want to just attract new subscribers for a one-off event only to see them cancel right after. The service is attempting to avoid churn by retaining these customers for the long haul. Warner Bros.’ decision to open its 17-film 2021 slate on HBO Max as well as theaters is one way to accomplish that.

For now, it appears as if both awareness and interest in Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max continues to climb.