When Wonder Woman 1984 premiered on Christmas Day 2020, it kicked off Warner Bros.’ one-year plan to release its films in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. Although director Patty Jenkins agreed it was a necessary decision, in the future, she hopes it’s one she can avoid entirely.
When Jenkins was asked about Warner Bros. and HBO’s agreement at a CinemaCon panel on Thursday, she admitted releasing her film that way was the “best choice given a bunch of bad choices at the moment.”
“It was hard to determine what to do with one’s film. For me, I was looking at what turned out to be true, which is that we had no idea when this pandemic was going to get under control, and the film had been finished for a while so it was one of those overdue films,” she said. “It was hugely detrimental to the movie but I was thinking, ‘What else are we going to do, wait two or three more years?'”
But Jenkins added that it was “heartbreaking” that many people first experienced Wonder Woman 1984 outside of a movie theater.
Echoing the sentiments that directors like Christopher Nolan and Dune filmmaker Denis Villeneuve have shared about the importance of the theatrical experience, she said: “I make movies for the big-screen experience.”
“I don’t think it plays the same on streaming, ever,” Jenkins said of Wonder Woman: 1984. “I’m not a fan of day-and-date, and I hope to avoid it forever.”
Wonder Woman 1984 ended up opening to $16.7 million compared to its 2017 predecessor’s pre-pandemic opening of $103.2 million. According to Samba TV, the sequel was watched by 3.9 million U.S. households, and eventually grossed $166.5 million worldwide.
When asked if she’d ever make a movie for Netflix, which is known for giving its films short theatrical windows and prioritizing streaming releases, Jenkins said no.
“I like working with Netflix for television, I wouldn’t make a movie there or any streaming service with those terms,” she said. “It’s hard to market a movie when it has a limited run.”
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