TORONTO — “Wonder Woman 1984” will make history in the United States when it becomes the first superhero blockbuster to debut simultaneously in theatres and on a streaming platform, but for Canadians, the viewing options won’t be so revolutionary.
A representative for Warner Bros. says the DC Comics adventure will take the more traditional big-screen route here, opening exclusively in markets across Canada where cinemas haven’t been closed by local COVID-19 measures.
It’s a decision that’s angered many comic book fans who’ve hung their hopes on a Canadian streaming platform stepping in to acquire the rights to “Wonder Woman 1984” at a time when people are being encouraged to stay at home.
But the negotiations behind such a pact are far more complicated, and can be costly. The U.S. home of the film is HBO Max, a streaming platform that’s under the same corporate umbrella as Warner, the telecommunications giant AT&T.
In Canada, HBO Max doesn’t operate as a streaming service, even though some of its higher-profile TV shows are licenced to Bell Media’s Crave platform.
That left Warner Bros. to determine how to distribute the film outside the U.S., and the company says it went the theatrical route. “Wonder Woman 1984” will begin opening in international markets starting on Dec. 16.
A representative for Crave says while a deal wasn’t struck to bring “Wonder Woman 1984” to the platform during its theatrical run, the film “will stream on Crave following its standard theatrical windows.”