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Time's running out to catch Wonder Woman 1984 for free with HBO Max

Wonder Woman 1984 is here. Here's everything you need to know.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Mark Serrels Editorial Director
Mark Serrels is an award-winning Senior Editorial Director focused on all things culture. He covers TV, movies, anime, video games and whatever weird things are happening on the internet. He especially likes to write about the hardships of being a parent in the age of memes, Minecraft and Fortnite. Definitely don't follow him on Twitter.
Gael Cooper
Mark Serrels
5 min read

Gal Gadot returns in Wonder Woman 1984, which will be shown in some theaters and on HBO Max.

Warner Bros

You're in for a treat, superhero fans: Wonder Woman 1984 is available for  HBO Max  subscribers to stream for no additional charge. And after the year we just had, being able to watch the DC sequel from the comfort of our own homes could be the pick-me-up we need.

Wonder Woman 1984 , starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, debuted on HBO Max on Dec. 25, the same day the film was released on the big screen in select theaters in the US and Canada. And it isn't the only new movie you can watch at home: Pixar's Soul is now streaming on Disney Plus, too.

But you'd better watch it soon: The super-powered sequel is only available until Jan. 25, so clear a few hours and settle in.

How to watch Wonder Woman 1984 at home

If you subscribe to HBO Max

Wonder Woman 1984 is a sweet post-holidays gift for Max subscribers, especially because it won't cost them extra on top of their monthly or annual subscription fee. Right now, HBO Max costs $15 a month. When Disney's live-action Mulan came to Disney Plus in September, even subscribers had to pony up an extra $30 for Mulan (until Dec. 4, when it became free for all subscribers). Wonder Woman  doesn't have that extra charge. Just tune in to HBO Max as you normally would, and the action will unfold.

If you have HBO, you could get HBO Max for free

Depending on which provider delivers HBO to you, you could potentially get HBO Max for free. It's pretty complicated, but we have all the information you need to figure things out here.

HBO Max is currently doing a deal

If you don't subscribe to the streaming service, HBO Max is currently doing a deal. Sign on for six months and you'll get a 22% discount at $70. Not bad.

Roku users now have access to HBO Max

Just recently Roku struck a deal that gives subscribers access to HBO Max. Roku users who already use the HBO app will automatically update to HBO Max. You can find more information here.

If you're not a subscriber

If you want to see Wonder Woman 1984 and don't currently pay for HBO Max, you might consider signing up. We have a lengthy explainer on the service, which has a fat library of other movies and programs you could check out, including Lovecraft Country, Rick and Morty, the Studio Ghibli movies and more. But on Dec. 3, HBO Max announced it would no longer offer a free one-week trial -- and you know that's to stop Wonder Woman fans from getting the movie for free, then canceling the service. Still, you could sign up and cancel after paying for a month if you realize you won't watch the service enough to make it worthwhile.

Will it be available in 4K HDR? 

On Dec. 1, director Patty Jenkins tweeted that Wonder Woman 1984 would be the first film on HBO Max available in 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Not quite sure what that means for you? We break it down here, but essentially, if you have the right device, you can watch the film in better resolution and, in the case of Dolby Atmos, better sound.

Theaters are showing it, too

Many moviegoers haven't been back to their favorite cinema since the pandemic lockdowns began back in March. Some theaters remain closed. And even the theater chains that are open in the US and around the world have introduced special precautions and reduced seating. But certain theaters will be showing Wonder Woman 1984, the WarnerMedia statement said.

"If you are fortunate to live in a place where theaters are open, we believe we are offering a great option given the Cinema Safe protocols our partners have put in place," said WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar in a statement. "With this, exhibitors are offering a movie-going experience with social distancing, masks, cleaning and ventilation protocols."

Last resort: Wait

If you aren't comfortable with indoor theaters or HBO Max, Wonder Woman 1984 will eventually be issued on DVD and Blu-ray. There's no date given for when that will happen, but probably sometime late in 2021.

How long is it available on HBO Max?

The film is streaming for 31 days, so you can watch it through Jan. 24. After that, the film will remain in theaters, but WarnerMedia hasn't promised to leave it online. So if you want to watch the HBO Max version, do it soon.

What's it all about?

Warning: Small spoilers for the first film ahead.

Wonder Woman was the third-highest-grossing movie of 2017, behind only Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. A sequel was inevitable, and as the title promises, the action moves to the gung-ho 1980s. The film is set in 1984, the year of the Los Angeles Olympics, and there's some oh-so '80s big hair and shopping-mall action.


Wonder Woman explores that very 1980s pastime, hanging at the mall.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman, the Amazonian daughter of Zeus. Her strength and powers far outshine anything the humans can throw at her, but their world also confuses and perplexes her. Her love interest is American GI Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine. He appeared to die in the first film, but come on, Hollywood can't let such an integral Wonder Woman companion stay dead.

Robin Wright once again play General Antiope, Wonder Woman's aunt, in the sequel, despite sacrificing herself for Wonder Woman in the first film. Connie Nielsen is also back as Wonder Woman's mother, Hippolyta, the queen of Themyscira, the island home of the Amazons.

New characters include Kristen Wiig as supervillain Cheetah and Pedro Pascal (yes, The Mandalorian himself, Baby Yoda's daddy figure) as villain Maxwell Lord. 

Pro tip: Watch the credits

Once the movie's over and the ending credits start to roll, keep watching. There's a brief midcredits scene that will reward faithful Wonder Woman fans.

And by the way

Need more Wonder Woman? HBO Max has also added all 60 episodes of the 1970s Wonder Woman TV series, starring Lynda Carter and with Lyle Waggoner as Steve Trevor Jr. The original Wonder Woman series ran for three seasons, from 1975 to 1979, and had plenty of kid fans spinning on the playground, imitating Diana Prince's quick change from regular clothes to her star-spangled costume.

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