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More than half a year after “Wonder Woman 1984” was supposed to hit theaters around the world, the film is finally here — the big-budget DC Comics sequel arrived in theaters and on HBO Max Christmas Day. Interested in settling down with your family (whether in person or virtually) and watching it together? Here’s how you can do that.
Unlike another major 2020 streaming release, “Mulan” on Disney+, there is no separate, premium tier of service you’ll need to subscribe to in order to access “Wonder Woman 1984.” If you have an HBO Max account, you’re good to go. The one catch: It’ll only be available for a month, so make sure you get a chance to watch before the end of January 2021.
Didn’t have a chance to sign up before, or were waiting until it was finally available on Roku before you pulled the trigger? Sign up for an HBO Max subscription here. It’s $15 per month, but if you sign up now you’ll get six months for $70, a savings of $20 over the monthly price for the same amount of time.
With your new HBO Max subscription, you’ll also be ready to view Warner Bros. Pictures’ entire 2021 slate, which will be released simultaneously in theaters (again, wherever they are open) and on HBO Max throughout the entire year. Yes, that includes tentpoles like “Dune,” “In the Heights,” “Suicide Squad,” “Matrix 4,” and many, many more. And if you’re looking to upgrade your home theater before these big-budget films hit your small screen, check out this post with a few suggestions.
Interestingly, while director Patti Jenkins and star Gal Gadot helped announce the new release plan for “Wonder Woman 1984,” the directors of the 2021 films debuting on HBO Max didn’t even get a heads up from Warner Bros. beforehand.
“As we navigate these unprecedented times, we’ve had to be innovative in keeping our businesses moving forward while continuing to super-serve our fans,” WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group boss Ann Sarnoff said in a statement at the time of the “Wonder Woman 1984” announcement. “This is an amazing film that really comes to life on the big screen and, working with our partners in the exhibition community, we will provide that option to consumers in the U.S. where theaters are open. We realize that a lot of consumers can’t go back to the movies due to the pandemic, so we also want to give them the option to see ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ via our HBO Max platform.”
But as Sarnoff told The Hollywood Reporter in early December, her company announced the 2021 news on Dec. 3 without consulting with the filmmakers ahead of time for fear of the news leaking.
“I wish we could have had more time to speak to our partners and talent,” she told THR. “We are very conscious of paying a fair price for the HBO Max 31-day distribution of the movie, and we think they’ll be happy to see how much effort we will put behind successfully launching these movies.”
“Tenet” director Christopher Nolan and “Dune” director Dennis Villeneuve are two of several high-profile directors who have both spoken out against the move, with Villeneuve writing, “even though ‘Dune’ is about cinema and audiences, AT&T is about its own survival on Wall Street. With HBO Max’s launch a failure thus far, AT&T decided to sacrifice Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 slate in a desperate attempt to grab the audience’s attention.”
IndieWire’s Kate Erbland called “Wonder Woman 1984” “the rare superhero sequel that, for better (and sometimes, but rarely) worse, carves its own path and finds something joyous, wacky, and deeply enjoyable as a result. All that neon and all those parachute pants? Just a bonus, as Jenkins and Gadot take their heartfelt heroine back to 1984, finding bombastic new territory for Diana Prince to explore, blessedly outside the confines of her contemporary compatriots.”
The film takes place in a new decade as the titular superhero faces off against two new enemies: Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot return as director and star, and Chris Pine is also back as Steve Trevor, somehow (you might recall his heroic fate at the end of “Wonder Woman” seemingly would preclude him from joining the sequel, but this is a superhero story, after all).
Ultimately, writes Erbland in her review, “Those are some big swings, and not every single one lands, but the ones that do are both joyous and genuinely worth pondering. And yet it’s also brimming with the same wonder and joy as the first film, the rare movie — of any stripe — that doesn’t just want to believe in the goodness of people, but is willing to make them truly work for it. That’s superheroic.”