Criticism has been hurled at AT&T and WarnerMedia ever since they had decided to abruptly announce that all of Warner Bros.' 2021 movies would release on HBO Max concurrently with their theatrical releases. This sent shock waves throughout the industry, with many Warner Bros. directors being displeased with the decision and upset about not being consulted as Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot were when Wonder Woman 1984's release plan shifted.
The moment of truth has arrived at whether this rash decision will pay off, and, according to a new survey, it seems like WarnerMedia didn't blindside everyone for nothing. Wonder Woman 1984 apparently boasted fantastic numbers for the streaming service, even just beating out Disney's most-viewed streaming release.
A new audience survey from Screen Engine regarding Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max shows promise for WarnerMedia, with 23% of participants saying that they signed up to HBO Max exclusively to watch the Wonder Woman sequel and 14% among that percentage saying that they would continue to subscribe to HBO Max.
However, actual streaming numbers haven't been released for Wonder Woman 1984, so it's difficult to see exactly how much this benefited the streaming service.
Screen Engine, using their own methods, was able to determine that Wonder Woman 1984 “edged out” Hamilton and Soul's first-week streaming viewership numbers, meaning that WW84 takes the crown as the most-watched SVOD release of 2020.
A much more impressive number is that 19% of HBO Max users that would have canceled their subscription will not due to the addition of Wonder Woman 1984.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Many of these statistics do sound good for WarnerMedia and HBO Max, but they really don't mean much without raw subscriber or viewer numbers to accompany this kind of survey. The public doesn't have any raw numbers for Hamilton on Disney+ nor Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max to properly compare the two releases.
The real test will be subsequent releases in 2021 on HBO Max for movies like James Gunn's The Suicide Squad to see if subscriber numbers remain consistent or, better yet, increase at the same or higher rate it did with the release of Wonder Woman 1984.
As for WW84 just beating viewership numbers for Hamilton and Soul on Disney+, it is indeed impressive, with the former being one of the biggest musicals ever and the latter being a Pixar movie that was developed for a theatrical release.