Warner Bros.’ superhero sequel debuted simultaneously in theaters and on Max on December 25. Viewers in the US spent 2.25 billion minutes watching it that weekend, topping other streaming titles on platforms that Nielsen measures (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and Hulu). Max isn’t available internationally and Nielsen only measures US viewership.
It’s an impressive accomplishment considering Nielsen measures minutes watched, which gives long-running TV shows like “The Office” an advantage (the series was watched for 1.4 billion minutes the week of December 21 to December 27).
“Wonder Woman 1984” is about 45 minutes longer than “Soul,” but Disney Plus has almost double the subscribers as Max does in the US. Disney Plus has 87 million subscribers worldwide and Rich Greenfield, an analyst with research firm Lightshed Partners, estimates 33 million of those are in the US.
It’s good news for Max, as Warner Bros. plans to release all of its 2021 movies in theaters and on Max simultaneously, as it did with “Wonder Woman 1984,” amid the pandemic. The movies will stream for 31 days before leaving Max for an exclusive theatrical run.
“Wonder Woman 1984” isn’t faring as well at the box office, though. The movie has $148 million globally and $37 million in the US. It cost $200 million to produce.
The movie’s debut weekend was a slow one across the board for China, whose theatrical industry has otherwise started to rebound after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic (the Chinese box office has even surpassed North America as the world’s biggest this year). The Chinese movie “The Rescue” also fell below projections with $36 million last weekend.
But this weekend was different, as the Hong Kong action movie “Shock Wave 2” earned $64.5 million in China and the Chinese fantasy movie “Dream of Eternity” grossed $39 million. Yet “Wonder Woman 1984” continued to flounder in the region.
“Wonder Woman 1984” fared better in its debut in US theaters over the weekend. It made $16.7 million, the best opening since the pandemic began, but a sign that US movie theaters are far from a full recovery. 2017’s “Wonder Woman” earned $103 million in its opening weekend in the US. It ultimately grossed $822 million worldwide, $90.5 million of which came from China.
“Wonder Woman 1984” debuted simultaneously on WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max in the US over the weekend (it’s not available internationally yet). WarnerMedia said on Sunday that nearly half of its retail subscribers (those who subscribe directly to Max rather than through a cable provider) watched the movie on its first day on Friday, but didn’t provide specific viewership numbers. Max had 12.6 million activations as of December 8.
Industry experts previously said that piracy could be an issue once the movie had become available to stream.
“A pristine, high-definition copy of the movie will be available in everyone’s queues within days,” Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst, told Business Insider last week.
But a lack of enthusiasm for “Wonder Woman 1984” may have contributed to its dramatic decline at the China box office. It scored a 7.8 on the Chinese ticketing app Maoyan and a 6.5 from the Chinese social network Douban, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie has generally been favored less than its predecessor, “Wonder Woman,” among audiences and critics.
It has a 65% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and a 73% audience score based on over 1,700 user ratings (“Wonder Woman” has a 93% critic score and 84% audience score). The sequel received a B+ on Cinemascore, which surveys audiences on a movie’s opening night (the first movie received an A).
HBO Max subscribers don’t have to pay extra to stream “Wonder Woman 1984,” but the movie is only available for one month.
The HBO Max streaming app costs $15 per month, though it’s usually included if you already pay for HBO through your cable provider.
“Wonder Woman 1984” premiered in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25. The movie is the first in a series of Warner Bros. films that will be available for streaming the same day they hit the big screen.
Director Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine return for the sequel to 2017’s “”Wonder Woman.” The action picks up 40 years after the conclusion of the last film. Kristen Wiig plays Cheetah, a villain who can match Wonder Woman’s superhuman abilities, and “The Mandalorian” star Pedro Pascal plays nefarious businessman Maxwell Lord.
“Wonder Woman 1984” will be available on HBO Max for just one month starting December 25. It’s possible the movie will return to the service at a later date once it finishes playing in theaters. Viewers outside the US will be able to see “Wonder Woman 1984” in theaters starting December 16, with dates staggered through January based on region.
Updated on 12/25/2020 by Steven Cohen. The language in this article has been revised for timeliness. Added details about which devices you can watch “Wonder Woman 1984” on in 4K HDR.
How to watch ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ on HBO Max
“Wonder Woman 1984” is now streaming on HBO Max. The movie premiered on December 25. Streaming access to the film is included with an HBO Max subscription and doesn’t require any extra fees. “Wonder Woman 1984” will remain on HBO Max for 31 days. The movie will then be removed from the HBO Max library, but it’s possible that it could be added back in the future.
The HBO Max service is priced at $15 per month, and new members can currently receive over 20% off if they prepay for six months. You can sign up directly through the HBO Max website, with your cable subscriber, or through select streaming services, like Hulu. If you already pay for HBO through your cable provider, you should be able to access HBO Max for no extra cost, with some restrictions.
The HBO Max app is available on Apple devices, Android, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation and Samsung smart TVs. Deals bringing the HBO Max app to Roku and Fire TV were announced just weeks before the release of “Wonder Woman 1984,” ending months of tense negotiations between AT&T, Amazon, and Roku.
Does ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ support 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos?
“Wonder Woman 1984” is the first movie on HBO Max to stream in 4K with support for high dynamic range (HDR). The film is available in HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos on supported devices, matching the maximum quality typically seen on Netflix and Disney Plus.
Here’s a rundown of streaming devices with support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos through HBO Max:
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube
Apple TV 4K
Roku Ultra 4800x
Roku 4K TVs
Roku Premiere (Dolby Atmos not supported)
Roku Streaming Stick+ (Dolby Atmos not supported)
Google Chromecast Ultra
Chromecast with Google TV (Dolby Atmos not supported)
AT&T Streaming Box
Xfinity X1 (Xi6) and Flex
What other Warner Bros. movies are coming to HBO Max?
The next scheduled Warner Bros. release on HBO Max is “The Little Things” starring Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, which is due out on January 29, 2021. Other major releases set to arrive on the streaming service throughout 2021 include “Dune,” “The Matrix 4,” “The Suicide Squad,” “The Conjuring 3,” and more.
Hopefully HBO Max will be able to maintain the level of technical quality it’s setting with “Wonder Woman 1984” as more theatrical releases launch in 2021. HBO Max representatives said 4K support will arrive for more films and TV shows in 2021, but it’s unclear which will be prioritized.