Can a nostalgia-packed superhero flick persuade individuals to go away their couches and head to the cinemas? "Wonder Woman 1984" seeks to reply that query.
Movie theater homeowners are hopeful that the "Wonder Woman" sequel, which arrives Christmas Day, will lure a key demographic again to cinemas regardless of continued surges in coronavirus instances.
But, the ongoing pandemic isn't their solely concern. On the identical day that "Wonder Woman 1984" debuts on the massive display, it’s going to even be obtainable to stream on HBO Max.
"'Wonder Woman 1984' represents the first test of a simultaneous big screen/small screen release of a title of this magnitude," mentioned Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
Box office analysts have blended opinions about how properly the film will carry out at the home box office. "Wonder Woman 1984" underperformed final weekend in its worldwide debut, hauling in round $38.5 million. This was properly beneath the $60 million that the trade had forecast.
The film might face much more difficulties in the U.S. and Canada contemplating solely round 34% of theaters are open. That's about 2,000 theaters, Comscore experiences.
"To place a number on its possible opening weekend is difficult, since there really is no directly comparable release scenario," Dergarabedian mentioned. "And the biggest opening weekend since the mid-March start of the pandemic shutdown for movie theaters didn't even eclipse the $10 million mark."
He's referencing "The Croods: A New Age," an animated film from Dreamworks, which debuted over Thanksgiving. It had the highest opening of any film launched throughout the pandemic, a paltry $9.7 million. For the full five-day Thanksgiving weekend it tallied $14.2 million.
Still, there’s pent-up demand for "Wonder Woman 1984." This might persuade moviegoers to move to the massive display as an alternative of watching the film at dwelling.
"We're seeing 'Wonder Woman 1984' drive the strongest ticket pre-sales of any film in the pandemic era thus far, but I'm leaning cautiously toward over $10 million for the weekend given the number of theater closures, audience caution and a simultaneous streaming release," mentioned Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com. "A figure closer to $15 million could be achievable but there's a great deal of unpredictability to factor in right now."
Robbins mentioned premium screens akin to IMAX and Dolby Cinema will seemingly be a few of the top-performing venues for the sequel as a result of they provide larger high quality sound and film. Private get together leases, the place moviegoers hire out a theater for a bunch of as many as 20 family and friends members, may also seemingly generate a wholesome share of the box office.
In the final 5 years, the Christmas Day box office has generated no less than $80 million for the single day. That determine is not going to be seen this yr, analysts agree.
In non-pandemic instances, "Wonder Woman 1984" might have opened at between $100 million and $150 million, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter mentioned. With so many theaters shuttered, the menace of the coronavirus looming and the availability of the film on HBO Max, Pachter predicted a gap of between $15 million and $25 million.
"While many will be choosing to stay home this holiday and watch the film, fans and families in markets where safe and able to do so could turn out in relatively fair numbers, though a far cry from what they would typically be for a blockbuster superhero sequel opening on Christmas," Robbins mentioned.
Disclosure: Comcast is the mother or father firm of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Dreamworks Animation.
Watch CNBC's full interview with Cinemark CEO Mark ZoradiSquawk Alley
based mostly on web site supplies www.cnbc.com