Wonder Woman 1984 set for premium VOD UK release in January
Staff Reporter | On 19, Dec 2020
Wonder Woman 1984 will officially be released on premium VOD in the UK in January.
The blockbuster sequel to Patty Jenkins’ groundbreaking 2017 hit sees Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince enter the Cold War era, as she faces two threats – Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah and Pedro Pascal’s Max Lord – and reunited with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen will also return as Antiope and Hippolyta.
The film is being released day-and-date in the US on 25th December, with American cinemas playing the film while it also streams on HBO Max for free for one month. (Indeed, Warner Bros now plans to release all of its 2021 films day-and-date in US cinemas and on HBO Max.)
In the UK, meanwhile, the film was released theatrically on 16th December, just as a number of areas in England, including London, entered Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, preventing cinemas from staying open to show it. With HBO Max not available in the UK, Warner Bros was reported as holding talks with Sky for an early online release in January. While those talks have evidently not come to fruition, Warner Bros has now confirmed that an early streaming release is on the cards across a range of transactional VOD platforms.
The film will be available as a premium VOD rental from 13th January, just under a month after its theatrical debut, while also remaining in cinemas. The move has been emphasised by sources speaking to Variety as a temporary measure for distributors and exhibitors to work together rather than setting a precedent for the future – although Warner’s decision to go down the HBO Max route for the whole of its 2021 slate in the US has emphasised how short-term measures can grow.
Warner Bros said in a statement: “In recognition of varying current market restrictions and to service the massive fan interest in Wonder Woman 1984, this film can be enjoyed by fans and families on the big screen where available in cinemas now, and in the comfort of their own home through Premium Video on Demand in the UK and Ireland starting on 13th January.”
Where can I watch it?
The film is priced around the usual premium VOD amount of £15.99, with the film available to watch for 48 hours once rented. You can rent it on iTunes/Apple TV (4K available), Amazon Prime Video (4K available), Google Play (4K available), Rakuten TV (4K available), TalkTalk TV, Sky Store, CHILI, Microsoft Store (4K available), BT TV and PlayStation Video.
Sky in talks for Wonder Woman 1984 premium VOD release
2nd December 2020
Wonder Woman could be set for a premium VOD release in the UK in January.
The blockbuster sequel to Patty Jenkins’ groundbreaking 2017 hit is being released day-and-date in the US on 25th December, with American cinemas playing the film while it also streams on HBO Max for free for one month. (Update: Warner Bros now plans to release all of its 2021 films day-and-date in US cinemas and on HBO Max. Click here for more.)
In the UK, meanwhile, Warner Bros still plans to release the film in UK cinemas from 16th December. However, with cinemas across the UK only able to open in certain tiers due to the coronavirus pandemic – and with different regions of the UK all operating at different tiers – the roadmap for distributing the film on the big screen is far from simple. Now, it looks like Warner Bros has found an equivalent for its HBO Max strategy, with Variety reporting that talks are ongoing between Warner and Sky. Those discussions, which are at “advanced stages”, would see the film get a premium VOD release from the pay-TV giant.
This could be as early as one month after its cinema release, or something similar, and may well play out across different parts of Sky’s services, whether that’s its transactional VOD platform Sky Store or its streaming library, Sky Cinema. Sky Cinema, which is also available as part of the contract-free NOW, has become the day-and-date home for Sky’s own original films, and is also set to stream Happiest Season this month, just a few weeks after its online premiere in the UK, thanks to a recent landmark deal with distributor eOne.
As with all of these things, the companies involved are looking to make temporary measures during the unprecedented situation that is the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, while some cinemas are reopening in the UK, Cineworld remains indefinitely closed, which leaves the theatrical market short of a significant number of screens.
“What we’re doing on the basis of trying to help out the studios and our partners is to look at an emergency COVID window which is just the maximum amount of flexibility to get movies onto screens,” a senior source close to the talks told Variety.
However, as with Universal’s online releases earlier this year, which resulted in a premium VOD deal between the studio and AMC cinemas in the US, these measures could well to longer-term deals that shape the future of the distribution landscape.
Note: From 2nd December in England, cinemas can open in Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas until 11pm (or after if films have started before 10pm). They cannot open in Tier 3 areas. In Wales, cinemas can open, but will be closed again from 4th December (under restrictions that may be revised on 17th December). In Scotland, cinemas can open under Protection Level 0, 1 and 2, but must close in areas under Protection Level 3 and 4. In Northern Ireland, cinemas cannot open. In Ireland, cinemas can only be open within Level 1 and 2.