In the last few days, some rumors have been circulating around the net that Wonder Woman 1984 may skip its theatrical run and come directly to digital distribution platforms. This would follow Disney’s plan with Mulan and even what Universal did earlier in the year with Trolls World Tour, both of which have been ridiculously successful. According to some recent comments from director Patty Jenkins, that doesn’t seem likely.
In a recent interview with Reuters, Jenkins stated her firm belief in the theater-going experience and said, “If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process. We could lose movie theater-going forever.” That doesn’t necessarily mean Wonder Woman 1984 won’t do a simultaneous release in theaters and on streaming platforms, but it certainly doesn’t seem likely.
As Jenkins explains, “It could be the kind of thing that happened to the music industry where you could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can’t be profitable.” This comparison is in relation to the iTunes Store, which Apple launched in 2003 and almost completely shuttered the recording industry overnight. With songs available for 99 cents a pop, album sales began to tank and artists had to resort to touring almost endlessly to generate any revenue.
“I don’t think any of us want to live in a world where the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room,” Jenkins continued, “and not have a place to go for a date.” She certainly doesn’t want to see the end of the theater experience and that likely means Wonder Woman 1984 will suffer another delay instead of jumping straight to VOD.
While I don’t necessarily agree with Jenkins’ comments here, I can see where she’s coming from. Despite how viewers have access to thousands of films on demand, there is still something about walking into a theater that attracts people. With many not having the funds to get proper home theater equipment, sitting down in front of the big screen, and being treated to big audio is a luxury many don’t want to see disappear. With money tight all around, $10 for a ticket is way more reasonable than the multiple thousands it would take to recreate that experience at home.