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& # 39; Surprise Girl 1984 & # 39; will debut in theaters and on HBO Max this Christmas

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Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman in "Wonder Woman 1984".

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. removes a page from Universal's playbook. On Wednesday, HBO Max announced that "Wonder Woman 1984" would start streaming service on December 25th, the same day it hits theaters.

The move comes as coronavirus cases hit record highs in the US and studios fear audiences won't flock to theaters even with new titles.

"As we navigate these unprecedented times, we have had to innovate to grow our business while delivering great service to our fans," said Ann Sarnoff, chairman and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group. "… We are aware that many consumers can no longer go to the cinema due to the pandemic. That is why we would like to give them the opportunity to see Wonder Woman 1984 on our HBO Max platform."

Cinema chains have been hit by the coronavirus. For the first six months of the pandemic, the bottom line was hit by stalemates, and for the last three months, cinemas struggled to get moviegoers off their couches. Much of their problems are due to the lack of new blockbuster features.

The majority of studios have chosen to keep moving their films to the theatrical calendar until hopefully coronavirus cases have been halted.

The decision to keep Wonder Woman 1984 on the 2020 calendar enables theater chains to generate revenue from ticket sales and encourage subscription signups to HBO Max.

The first "Wonder Woman" film had a domestic opening weekend of $ 100 million and raised more than $ 820 million at the global box office. The sequel is unlikely to repeat those financial gains on its debut, but its presence in theaters is a boon for cinema owners desperate for new content to make money.

Cinema chains big and small have warned that they need new content to stay open. Without titles like "Wonder Woman 1984" many would be forced to file for bankruptcy in order to restructure their finances and stay afloat.

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Katherine Clark