“Wonder Woman 1984” will hit theaters in China on Dec. 18, a week before the Warner Bros. tentpole launches in North America simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max. It will debut in cinemas in other international territories on Dec. 16.
The sequel, starring Gal Gadot, will be the first major Hollywood title to open in China since Disney debuted “Mulan” in September. The original “Wonder Woman” earned $90.5 million in China in 2017. “Wonder Woman 1984” reteams Gadot with director Patty Jenkins in a follow-up to the blockbuster that earned more than $820 million at the worldwide box office.
The China release of “Wonder Woman 1984” comes as moviegoing is recovering following the COVID-19 pandemic in that nation. War film “The Sacrifice” has earned $150 million since its release on Oct. 23 and year-to-date box office in China stands at $2.35 billion, according to data from exhibition and distribution consultancy Artisan Gateway. Despite being down 73% from the same point last year, China has overtaken North America as the world’s biggest box office this year. More than 90% of Chinese cinemas are currently open.
The decision to release the film day-and-date in theaters and on HBO Max in the U.S. comes as theaters continue to struggle, with the key Los Angeles and New York City markets remaining closed and moviegoers showing reluctance to return to multiplexes until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes readily available. “Freaky,” a body-swap horror movie from Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, topped the box office last weekend with $3.7 million at 2,472 screens in North America.