Wonder Woman 1984 has only just hit (some) theaters and streaming services across the world, yet Warner Bros. are confident enough to fast-track a third film in the franchise. Both Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman; Justice League) and director/writer Patty Jenkins are on board to return, reports Variety.
In the sequel to the 2017 mega-hit, Diana “Wonder Woman” Prince battles a mysterious force whilst re-establishing an old relationship.
Warner Bros. chief Toby Emmerich had this to say: “As fans around the world continue to embrace Diana Prince, driving the strong opening weekend performance of ‘Wonder Woman 1984,’ we are excited to be able to continue her story with our real life Wonder Women — Gal and Patty — who will return to conclude the long-planned theatrical trilogy.”
The strong opening weekend Emmerich speaks of refers to the $16.7 million the film made in 2,100 North American theaters. In a pre-pandemic world, this would be considered a flop. In comparison to the first film, which opened in 4,100 theaters and gained $103.1 million in its first weekend, this would be an embarrassment for Warner Bros. However, as it stands, WW84 has had the biggest opening for any post-covid release, and made more than Warner Bros.’ previous tentpole feature, Tenet, which made $9.35 million. Interestingly, WW84 made more despite giving audiences the option to stay at home to watch it via Warner streaming service HBO Max, whereas Tenet was exclusive to theaters. Tenet was also released at a time where covid numbers were lower than they are now. Worldwide, WW84 currently sits at $85 million.
Wonder Woman 1984 also marks the beginning of Warner Bros. simultaneously releasing films in theaters and on their streaming service, HBO Max. This decision has spawned quite a lot of criticism, with many directors disappointed with the studio’s new plan. Legendary Entertainment, the production company behind Dune, are reportedly looking to take legal action due to their film not getting the full theatrical treatment they desire. However, it is currently unclear how fazed Warner Bros. will be as they are reporting that WW84 broke platform records.
A Warner Bros. press release stated: “Nearly half of the platform’s retail subscribers viewed the film on the day of its arrival, along with millions of wholesale subscribers who have access to HBO Max via cable, wireless, or other partner services. HBO Max also saw the total viewing hours on Friday more than triple in comparison to a typical day in the previous month.” This makes WW84 the biggest film to debut on the streaming service and will likely reinforce Warner Bros.’ decision to release films on HBO Max and in theaters at the same time throughout 2021.
No release date has been announced for the sequel but the studio’s desire to fast-track the film has caused some concern due to Patty Jenkins’ already busy schedule. Jenkins has re-teamed with Gadot for Cleopatra, which she is directing for Paramount. The historical epic is expected to hit theaters in 2022. In addition, during the recent Disney Investor Day presentation, Jenkins was announced to helm Star Wars: Rogue Squadron which is currently eyeing a Christmas Day 2023 release date. With such big budget and high profile films on the way, it will likely be some time before audiences will see the Amazonian warrior’s third outing.
Be sure to see where Wonder Woman 1984 placed on our 2020 Comic Book Movies Ranked list.