LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming U.S. superhero film "Wonder Woman 1984" will debut both online and in theaters in the United States next month, Warner Bros. Pictures announced Wednesday.
The highly anticipated tentpole film will be released simultaneously in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming platform on Dec. 25. It will be available on the streaming service for a month at no additional cost to subscribers, said the Hollywood studio in a statement.
"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," said Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, which encompasses Warner Bros. Pictures.
"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," Sarnoff added.
The upcoming film is a sequel to "Wonder Woman," a massive critical and commercial hit in 2017, which grossed 822 million U.S. dollars at the global box office, including around 90 million dollars from the Chinese mainland.
With director Patty Jenkins back at the helm and Gal Gadot returning in the title role, "Wonder Woman 1984" follows Diana Prince as she battles two formidable foes during the Cold War.
"IT'S TIME. We've all waited a long time for this one to come. I can't tell you how excited I am for all of you to see this movie," tweeted Gadot Wednesday.
"It wasn't an easy decision and we never thought we'd have to hold onto the release for such a long time but COVID rocked all of our worlds. We feel the movie has never been so relevant and we hope that it'll bring some joy, hope and love to your hearts," she said.
"I can't wait for the world to see this amazing woman on the screen. She'll blow your mind and warm your heart," Jenkins also wrote on Twitter.
The film was considered to be one of the biggest blockbusters this year with a reported cost of 200 million dollars. It was originally scheduled to hit big screens this past summer but has been postponed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a number of major Hollywood blockbusters have been delayed or moved online amid a COVID-19 surge, "Wonder Woman 1984" is widely seen as providing hope for U.S. theaters which have been devastated by the pandemic.
"Wonder Woman 1984" will debut theatrically in international markets a week earlier than the United States, starting on Dec. 16, according to Warner Bros. Pictures.
International markets are growing even more important economically for Hollywood as only half of U.S. theaters have been reopened. Another Warner Bros' tentpole film, Christopher Nolan's "Tenet," also debuted internationally a week before its U.S. premiere earlier this year and grossed more than 353 million dollars worldwide with only 56.3 million dollars from the North American market.
The Chinese mainland is one of the biggest theatrical territories for the film, raking in 456 million yuan (around 68.97 million dollars) after more than two months, according to box office data compiled by Maoyan, a Chinese movie-ticketing and film data platform. Enditem