Regal Owner Reacts to Warner Bros' Streaming Future

Cineworld Group has reacted to Warner Bros’ move to shift its entire 2021 slate of films for a simultaneous release on HBO Max and in U.S. theaters.

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we get our entertainment, yesterday was the biggest bombshell yet as Warner Bros. announced that it will release its tentpole features like Dune and King Kong vs Godzilla on HBO Max and in theaters at the same time.

Cineworld previously criticized Universal Pictures for pushing ahead with a premium VOD rollout of Trolls World Tour amid the pandemic over the summer, but it exceeded expectations for the studio. Taking that into consideration and Warner Bros' big moves next year, that seems to have shifted Cineworld's stance on the subject.

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Regal owner Cineworld Group has reacted to Warner Bros.' move by looking beyond the pandemic to an eventual agreement with the Hollywood studios.

"Cineworld was aware of WB’s plan to release Wonder Woman directly to its streaming service, which has been announced at a time when our cinemas remain closed in the US (Regal) and UK (Cineworld)," a spokesperson said. "We believe that at such a time WB will look to reach an agreement about the proper window and terms that will work for both sides. Big movies are made for the big screen and we cannot wait to reopen our cinemas in Q1 in order to offer our customers, as always, the best place to watch a movie."

Movie studios have had to adapt throughout the year including Disney releasing its initial spring release Mulan finally on Disney+--at a price--and Warner Bros. dropping Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max on Christmas. Utilizing streaming services has been the go-to plan for studios all year, and Warner Bros. dropping its releases next year seems to be the right call instead of constant delays (in most cases with most of the movie-based merchandise already hitting stores).

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