‘Wonder Woman 1984’ could have the best pandemic opening if HBO Max doesn’t cannibalize ticket sales

Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984.”

Warner Bros.

Can a nostalgia-packed superhero flick persuade folks to depart their couches and head to the cinemas? “Wonder Woman 1984” seeks to reply that query.

Movie theater homeowners are hopeful that the “Wonder Woman” sequel, which arrives Christmas Day, will lure a key demographic again to cinemas regardless of continued surges in coronavirus circumstances.

But, the ongoing pandemic is not their solely concern. On the similar day that “Wonder Woman 1984” debuts on the huge display, it’s going to even be out there to stream on HBO Max.

“‘Wonder Woman 1984’ represents the first test of a simultaneous big screen/small screen release of a title of this magnitude,” stated Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

Box workplace analysts have blended opinions about how nicely the movie will carry out at the home field workplace. “Wonder Woman 1984” underperformed final weekend in its worldwide debut, hauling in round $38.5 million. This was nicely beneath the $60 million that the business had forecast.

The movie could face much more difficulties in the U.S. and Canada contemplating solely round 34% of theaters are open. That’s about 2,000 theaters, Comscore experiences.

“To place a number on its possible opening weekend is difficult, since there really is no directly comparable release scenario,” Dergarabedian stated. “And the biggest opening weekend since the mid-March start of the pandemic shutdown for movie theaters didn’t even eclipse the $10 million mark.”

He’s referencing “The Croods: A New Age,” an animated movie from Dreamworks, which debuted over Thanksgiving. It had the highest opening of any movie launched throughout the pandemic, a paltry $9.7 million. For the full five-day Thanksgiving weekend it tallied $14.2 million.

Still, there’s pent-up demand for “Wonder Woman 1984.” This could persuade moviegoers to go to the huge display as an alternative of watching the movie at house.

“We’re seeing ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ drive the strongest ticket pre-sales of any film in the pandemic era thus far, but I’m leaning cautiously toward over $10 million for the weekend given the number of theater closures, audience caution and a simultaneous streaming release,” stated Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at “A figure closer to $15 million could be achievable but there’s a great deal of unpredictability to factor in right now.”

Robbins stated premium screens equivalent to IMAX and Dolby Cinema will probably be a few of the top-performing venues for the sequel as a result of they provide greater high quality sound and film. Private get together leases, the place moviegoers hire out a theater for a gaggle of as many as 20 family and friends members, may also probably generate a wholesome share of the field workplace.

In the final 5 years, the Christmas Day field workplace has generated no less than $80 million for the single day. That determine is not going to be seen this yr, analysts agree.

In non-pandemic instances, “Wonder Woman 1984” could have opened at between $100 million and $150 million, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter stated. With so many theaters shuttered, the risk of the coronavirus looming and the availability of the movie on HBO Max, Pachter predicted an opening of between $15 million and $25 million.

“While many will be choosing to stay home this holiday and watch the film, fans and families in markets where safe and able to do so could turn out in relatively fair numbers, though a far cry from what they would typically be for a blockbuster superhero sequel opening on Christmas,” Robbins stated.

Disclosure: Comcast is the father or mother firm of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Dreamworks Animation.

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