Streaming got its first big test against theatrical releases this weekend, and 'Wonder Woman' delivered on both
This past weekend provided the first real test for how blockbuster movies perform on streaming services when they're released in movie theaters at the same time. "Wonder Woman 1984" set a pandemic theatrical release record with $16.7 million in box office sales in the U.S. and Canada. (Many cable providers will give you access to HBO Max if you already have a "regular" HBO subscription.) Let's break down what this all means:WarnerMedia was careful not to disclose too much about how "Wonder Woman 1984" performed on streaming. Millions more likely watched "Wonder Woman 1984" at home than in theaters.cnbc.com
'Wonder Woman 1984' debuts with pandemic-best $16.7M
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Gal Gadot in a scene from "Wonder Woman 1984." “Wonder Woman 1984” grossed an additional $19.4 million in international markets where it began playing a week earlier. But WarnerMedia is counting on “Wonder Woman 1984” to matter more to HBO Max, which wobbled in its initial rollout. Warner Bros. nevertheless seized on the returns for “Wonder Woman 1984” as the best as could be expected, given the circumstances. Streaming numbers weren't provided for “Soul” or “Wonder Woman 1984.” WarnerMedia said nearly half of HBO Max’s subscribers watched “Wonder Woman 1984” on its first day on the streaming platform, though it didn't say how long constituted a watch.
'Wonder Woman 1984' scores highest box office opening of the pandemic, Warner Bros. fast-tracks third film
"Wonder Woman 1984" soared into theaters on Christmas day and secured the highest box office opening of any film released domestically since the coronavirus pandemic crippled the entertainment industry in mid-March. "Wonder Woman 1984" was one of the first major Hollywood blockbusters to be released in theaters and on streaming on the same day. Warner Bros.-parent AT&T said Sunday that nearly half of its HBO Max retail subscribers viewed "Wonder Woman 1984" on Christmas day. For comparison, the first "Wonder Woman" film, released in 2017, earned a 93% score, the highest of any film in the DC Extended Universe. Correction: Warner Bros.-parent AT&T said Sunday that nearly half of its HBO Max retail subscribers viewed "Wonder Woman 1984" on Christmas day.cnbc.com
New this week: 'Soul,' a Tom Hanks film & 'Bridgerton' on TV
This image released by Disney-Pixar shows the character 22, voiced by Tina Fey, left, and Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx, in a scene from the animated film "Soul." But with more than half of U.S. theaters closed, two of the biggest movies of the year — “Soul” and “Wonder Woman 1984” — will be going straight to streaming. — Also arriving Christmas Day is “Wonder Woman 1984,” Patty Jenkins' sequel to her barrier-breaking 2017 film. With Gal Gadot returning, “Wonder Woman 1984” fast-forwards from 1918 to the “greed is good” decade. — AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy___Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.
Disney unveils plans to stream a galaxy of new series, films
NEW YORK – The Walt Disney Co.’s streaming plans shifted into hyper speed Thursday, as the studio unveiled a galaxy’s worth of new streaming offerings including plans for 10 “Star Wars” series spinoffs and 10 Marvel series that will debut on Disney+. But Disney also kept its biggest films — including Marvel's “Black Widow," Pixar's “Luca,” a “Lion King” prequel — on course for theatrical release. Jenkins becomes the first woman to direct a “Star Wars” film. Among the “Star Wars” series are two spinoffs of “The Mandalorian,” set during the series' timeline: “Rangers of the New Republic” and “Ahsoka,” with Rosario Dawson. Seven Disney films topped $1 billion worldwide.
Pixar's 'Soul' bypasses theaters, will stream on Christmas
NEW YORK – The Pixar film “Soul” will skip theaters and instead premiere on Disney+ on Christmas, the Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday, sending one of the fall's last big movies straight to streaming. The successive delays of the film industry's would-be blockbusters has only made the dire circumstances of movie theaters more acute. Without aid, the organization said, 69% of small and mid-sized movie theater companies will close or go bankrupt. “The stark reality is that many movie theaters will not be able to open again if they don’t receive government help,” says Esther Baruh, director of government relations for the association. It recently announced that it would lay off 28,000 workers, most of them at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Women will rule the 2020 box office on-screen and behind the camera
2020 is the year of kick-ass women at the box office. From Amazon princesses and lethal assassins to crafty harlequins and alien warriors, next year will be dominated by female characters and female directors. "Adventure-seeking fans can't wait for the kick-ass leads of 'Wonder Woman 1984,' 'Black Widow,' and 'Mulan' all films directed by women to command the big screen." "Wonder Woman 1984," "Black Widow," "Eternals," "Mulan" and "Birds of Prey" are all helmed by female directors and center around female characters. Female directors have flourished in the independent film market, but few have been given the opportunity to helm massive blockbuster projects.cnbc.com