HBO Max this Friday will premiere Wonder Woman 1984, the same day it will debut in movie theaters. The decision to let consumers stream the Wonder Woman sequel at home rather than wait for weeks, or months, after its theatrical opening is arguably the industry’s most daring in recent history. Warner Media, which is owned by AT&T, paid roughly $200 million to make the film and it’s difficult to envision any way it can recoup its investment under this scenario.
But AT&T also owns HBO Max and it’s hoping Wonder Woman 1984‘s premiere on the streaming service will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with home viewers. The company has also approved Warner Media’s plan to same-day premiere its entire slate of 2021 theatrical releases, including Matrix 4 and Dune.
With so much riding on Wonder Woman 1984, the movie better be good, right? Otherwise, AT&T’s executive suite may soon find some new occupants.
Rottentomatoes.com, which tracks critical reviews, currently gives the movie a score of 81 out of a possible 100, based on 127 reviews. That may not be a home run, but it sounds like it’s good enough to save the day.
“Great Hera! Wonder Woman 1984 is an epic dose of heart and vibrant escapism that proves there are still unexpected thrills to be found in superhero cinema,” the site states, summarizing the reviews.
In case you’re wondering what the film is about, Diana Prince, played by Gal Gadot, is living (without aging a second since the original, set in World War I) in the go-go 1980s as a curator of ancient artifacts. But her quest to live a simpler life is disrupted when evil forces (including her friend, Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig) rise up and threaten to destroy all that is good.
Wonder Woman 1984 can be seen on HBO Max this Friday, starting at noon ET. The streaming service costs $14.99 a month.
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— Phillip Swann