So how’s WarnerMedia’s controversial decision to debut movies simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters working out after just one release?
The third-party metrics we’re able to see so far suggest just OK.
According to research company Samba TV, which measures household streaming usage across 20 global OEM brands before extrapolating viewership estimates out across other platforms, Wonder Woman 1984 was watched by 3.03 million U.S. households from its Christmas Day premiere through Dec. 31.
Next TV (which is admittedly not a research company) did some very cursory extrapolation of its own, multiplying 3.03 million by the average size of a U.S. household (2.6 according to Census data) and by the average U.S. movie ticket price ($9.16 based on the last National Association of Theater Owners figures). We arrived at a domestic box office equivalency of $72.1 million.
Admittedly, in terms of comparisons, that's a heck of a leap. Among other things, it suggests everyone in viewing households would be willing to drive to the multiplex and see the movie. But we're going to keep playing, anyway.
Combine that to the $23 million Wonder Woman 1984 took in at the limited number of North American box office locations that were in business from Dec. 25-31, and the film generated domestic revenue of around $95 million in its first week.
The franchise’s first film had a three-day weekend opening of around $103.3 million in June 2017.
Including international box office receipts, Wonder Woman 1984 has generated a total of around $118 million in global theatrical receipts. The movie cost about $200 million to make and about as much to market.
While box-office equivalency can be roughly sketched out, we’ll have to wait until WarnerMedia releases data on HBO Max platform subscriber growth to truly measure the impact of the company’s first true “day-and-date” release.
"We believe there is far more demand for [direct-to-consumer] theatrical releases than Hollywood insiders want to believe, and unless the world reverts to box-office in person attendance that rivals 2019 levels, the biggest mistake will be not charging enough for in-home viewing,” wrote Raymond James analyst Frank Louthan on Monday. “But this gives AT&T one thing that is a critical factor for the stock: sub growth.”
WarnerMedia said it was accelerating development of a third Wonder Woman film after the “record-breaking” performance 1984 on the HBO Max platform.
Also notable, according to Samba TV, Disney Plus generated U.S. viewership of 3.8 million streaming households for Pixar film Soul over the same Dec. 25-31 window.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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