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State of the Screens

Is Wonder Woman The Hero That HBO Max Needs?

By December 1, 2020No Comments

Big news #1: Wonder Woman 1984 will appear simultaneously in theatres and HBO MAX on Christmas Day.

Why this matters: The original Wonder Woman grossed $820M, and the sequel was expected to top $1B. This will be included with HBO MAX at no extra charge compared to the $30 Disney+ charged for Mulan.

Big question #1: How will WarnerMedia judge success?

Three primary objectives for Wonder Woman 1984 release strategy:
1) 
Cover as much of $200M production cost (plus marketing spend) as possible through theatre ticket sales
2) Drive HBO Max conversions and new subscriptions
3) Increase leverage in distribution negotiations with Roku/Amazon Fire TV

Quote from Rich Greenfield – General Partner @ LightShed Partners:
“They’re going to make less money for the greater good of building HBO Max.  This is putting the long-term future of the company ahead of profits.”

Video: Wonder Woman 1984 | Official Release Date

Big news #2: HBO Max is now available to Amazon Fire TV’s 40M+ HH, and Brandon Katz has the details in a fantastic deep dive.

Big question #2: How is adoption going so far for HBO MAX?

Quick answer: Mixed results.

HBO Max activations (QoQ growth):
1) 2020-Q2 – 4.1M
2) 2020-Q3 – 8.6M (↑ 110%)

HBO Max eligibility (% of total HBO subscribers):
1) Eligible + not activated – 20.1M (53%)
2) Not eligible – 9.3M (24%)
3) Eligible + activated – 8.6M (23%)
4) Total HBO subscribers (US only) – 38.0M

Flashback: Are you an HBO Max subscriber?

Good news: The West Wing reunion appeared to drive significant sign-ups during October.

More #1: HBO Max Looks to Lasso Big Gains in 2021 After Stumbling Out Of The Gate

More #2: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Didn’t Deserve To Be A Sacrificial Lamb In The Streaming Wars

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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