"Wonder Woman 1984" helped double the HBO Max's activations to 17.2 million, AT&T said Thursday.
The telecommunications company, which owns WarnerMedia, reported that HBO and HBO Max now have a combined 41.5 million domestic subscribers, up 20% from 34.6 million a year prior.
Of the 37.7 million HBO Max-eligible subscribers, 30 million came from wholesalers and 6.8 million were through retail channels. Retail subscribers are those that purchase the streaming service directly, not through a cable subscription or other streaming subscription.
This means that nearly half of HBO subscribers who were eligible to get HBO Max have not signed up yet.
While AT&T pointed to "Wonder Woman 1984" for the uptick in sign-ups, much of the gains were likely due to WarnerMedia striking deals in the fourth quarter to get the app on Roku devices and Amazon's Fire TV.
In total, the AT&T said it invested about $800 million in HBO Max during the latest quarter, and more than $2 billion in 2020 overall.
AT&T blamed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for $1.6 billion in lower theatrical and TV revenue during the fourth quarter. During the period ending Dec. 31, the company took a $780 million charge due to the impairment of production and other content inventory at WarnerMedia. Around $520 million of that was from the continued shutdown of theaters and AT&T's new hybrid distribution model, which brings films to theaters and HBO Max on the same day.
Warner Bros. revenue fell 21.2% to $3.2 billion because of film postponements and the rise in the number of home-entertainment releases.
"One, I'd point out, from my perspective, 7 million net adds is pretty stout and the strategy is working," one AT&T executive said during an earnings call Wednesday. "And secondly, we're 31 days out from 'Wonder Woman's' release so we'll continue to follow it."