Wonder Woman 1984 was all set to be DC’s big win for 2020, bringing Patty Jenkins’ vision and Gal Gadot’s performance into the Reagan era with Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and one of the Chrises in tow. The film’s initial 2019 release date was moved back.
Then continuing theater closures in major markets pushed it back again, and again, until it started to seem like audiences would never find out how Steve Trevor still looks as good as he does half a century after his last appearance.
In the meantime, attempts at wide releases stumbled out of the gate, with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet raking in $20 million on its opening weekend, and most people still unaware that New Mutants even came out. Warner read the writing on the box office wall.
On November 18, 2020, Warner Bros. announced that WW84 would be breaking new ground as arguably the most high-profile movie to be moved directly to streaming services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sequel, currently slated for a limited theatrical debut on December 25, will be made available to watch on HBO Max on the same day. It’s a bullet-biting move that other tentpole productions like Black Widow and No Time To Die have hesitated to embrace, and according to a Warner Bros. press release, it’ll give fans, even more, to look forward to than they initially expected: Wonder Woman 1984 will be the first-ever HBO Max offering to be released in 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, right out of the box.
Wonder Woman 1984 is bringing brighter colors and bigger booms
A quick recap: Just about everyone is familiar with 4K at this point. It’s the ultra-high-resolution image format that makes viewers feel like they could drive a European car through David Letterman’s incisors. But what about the rest?
HDR 10 and Dolby Vision are both forms of High Dynamic Range image processing, with the latter including the use of scene-by-scene metadata to adjust a viewer’s screen in order to display the most accurately colored video possible.
Dolby Atmos is a proprietary form of surround sound. If your home theater is set up for these features, Wonder Woman 1984 is going to look and sound unfathomably rad when it hits HBO Max on December 25. For the closest thing to a movie theater experience, HBO recommends watching WW84 on an Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon Fire TV Cube and 4K Fire TV Edition smart TVs, Chromecast Ultra, on an AT&T TV-enabled device.
4K HDR experiences with full surround sound are hard to come by on VOD services, in part due to the enormous amount of data required to stream them. HBO has stated that this is just the first in a series of movies and shows which will be released in the extra-shmancy format, with additional offerings on the way in 2021.