Warner Changes Movie-Going As We Know It With 2021 HBO Max Release Plans

The Matrix 4, Dune, Godzilla vs Kong, and The Suicide Squad are among the big movies heading straight to HBO Max.

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In the most dramatic move yet for a studio making its plans for movie releases in 2021, Warner has announced that it will put its entire theatrical line-up onto streaming next year.

As reported by Variety, the studio's movies will hit HBO Max in the US and Canada simultaneously with a theatrical release for the first month of release. This includes films such as the The Matrix 4, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, The Suicide Squad, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Space Jam: A New Legacy, James Wan's horror movie Malignant, and the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark. Once the first month is over, the movies will leave HBO Max and will follow a normal release pattern.

Warner has stated that this is a "one year plan" and that the initiative won't continue into 2022. In a statement, WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said, "We're living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group. No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021."

"With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren't quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films," she continued. "We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we're extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances."

Warner had already released The Witches straight to HBO Max in October, and Wonder Woman 1984 is set to follow next month. While it was reported earlier this week that the studio was considering putting more movies on HBO Max, the announcement that everything, including some extremely expensive and high profile films, will be released onto the platform next year is certainly a surprise. Variety states that while the studio had agreed to give theaters a larger cut of the gross for the release of Wonder Woman 1984, this won't be the case for its 2021 slate.

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gatsbythepig

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@margaretunw79: What kind of a club has pages? This sounds more like a book club. Are you trying to trick me into reading!?

I'll be damned if anyone is going to get me to read!

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Izraal

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The poster KarenGiy82, below, suggesting "hot-lovin conversations" is likely a bot, and their post is not relevant to discussion of theatrical releases debuting the same-day on HBO Max.

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Keaze_

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@izraal: Yea? She seemed awful nice to me

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SkyHighGam3r

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"simultaneously with a theatrical release"
THANK YOU.
Was that really so hard??

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Fortysixter_UK

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Going to the cinema is a mini event, especially if its one of your favourite franchises.

But... You still have to book a ticket, physically drive to the cinema, park up.

All of this takes time and a small amount of effort.

With what's going on in the world now, I'd opt for streaming films at home. If a ilms is good enough, I'll always buy it on bluray/4k as well.

Viewing big films at the cinema is OK, but let's face it, watching it at home is a lot safer, you don't have morons eating and drinking around you ( is food that scarce in their lives that they can only eat at the cinema?) and a it's lot less effort

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i2eaper0f5ouls

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it's worth noting that they're saying it's only for this coming year, not a plan moving forward.

That being said... if it does well, I can't imagine that they won't continue.

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SkyHighGam3r

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@i2eaper0f5ouls: I'll be voting with my wallet, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I want parity among the mediums.

You don't have to go to a live reading of a new book for the first several months of it's release.
You don't have to go to a concert to hear a new album.
You don't have to go anywhere special to enjoy a new game.
Movies shouldn't be any different.

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JustTheTip

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Edited By JustTheTip

@skyhighgam3r: You don’t have to go to a theater to watch a movie, either. You can wait until it comes out for sale and rental. That simple fact, alone, puts a stop to your argument. Going to a theater is an event, just like going to a concert.

This will never replace moviegoing. It does not make sense from a business perspective. There’s just not as much money in it. Even if you charge for streaming, people will just get their friends and family together and pay one $30 fee, instead of each of those people paying around $15.

I’ll be voting with my wallet, too. I’ll be getting a ticket at a theater, so long as a theater is open around me.

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SkyHighGam3r

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@justthetip: You didn't listen to my argument AT ALL if you think that puts a stop to it.

People shouldn't *"HAVE"* to go to the theater to watch a new movie, they should have the *"OPTION"* of either going to the theater, or watching it at home. No one should have to wait several months, if not longer, for a movie to finally "fully" release.

You mentioned a concert, but like I said previously, there is no album you HAVE to go to the concert to experience. You can either buy the album, or go see the concert.

If music released the way movies do, you'd have to wait until the bands tour was over before you even got the chance to hear the new music.

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Baconstrip78

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@skyhighgam3r: Yeah nobody cares...

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SkyHighGam3r

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@Baconstrip78: Well thank you for your constructive input...

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Wahsobe

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Edited By Wahsobe

What should have happened is that they should have dared to charge a realistic individual streaming price. By realistic I don't mean the $10-$15 charge that we often see now. I know many people complain about those low numbers seeming expensive, the reality is until they start charging a premium for these movies it's not a realistic option for recouping cost. I also believe in reducing the price as interest wains. This should be a positive for everyone as it allows people to jump in at their favorite price point.

As an example I would assume the bigger blockbusters would run something like $35+ for months 1 and 2 , $15ish around month 3, and $10 month for the remainder of the year, as well as arriving at premium streaming services at about this point. Again these are dependent on demand. The greater the demand the longer they stay in each price point.

On the other end of the spectrum I would like to see smarter more affordable advertising and leaner film budgets in some of these larger blockbuster movies. They seem out of hand and I can't help but feel that money gets thrown around a bit too much and often in the wrong places.

The beauty of the newer crops of premium made for streaming movies and TV series is that they've managed to really push what kind of quality they can give on a more manageable budget. I can only hope this puts pressure back on theater released films to produce quality at a better cost. I'm not saying to neuter blockbuster movies, I just mean to put them in check. Consumption is way up these days and I know viewers aren't about to spend even more than they have been for the extras.

It's in everyone's best interest if these films are profitable. That profit is what drives the motor the turns the gears of the Film industry.

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SkyHighGam3r

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@wahsobe: Honestly I would pay double the ticket price to watch most movies I go see, if it meant I could watch them at home day and date with their theatrical release. The extra cost would be absolutely worth it just to 'not' have to deal with theaters, their food costs, and the other people.

I'd still go to the movies sometimes, but it's nothing short of bullshit you 'have' to in order to see a new movie.

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Wahsobe

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@skyhighgam3r: I was weekly movie goer before covid, though I seldom bought food at the theater. If I did I would only spend it on things that cost around what I would pay on the outside. So typically coffee, tea and poutine and maybe a burger or hotdog on rare occasion. Pop and popcorn was usually a last minute buy when I was with someone who was adamant about buying it. I did however always have a big bag of peanut M&M's in my pocket with almost every visit.

My Home theater setup is pretty sweet but I went to the movie theater as an excuse to get out of the house. I felt it was probably in my best interest to be out where I may have a chance of interacting with society, even if it was limited. I also enjoyed the chance of having an occasional run in with an old friend or a co-worker outside the work setting.

I'm far to comfortable just sitting around in my own space doing nothing all day and as your typical older single dude, if no ones pushing me to go anywhere I'll probably just stay there. Not a healthy choice.

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SkyHighGam3r

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@wahsobe: The fact your theater sells poutine already makes it the greatest theater in existence. It is IMPOSSIBLE to buy that anywhere where I live. No one sells it, no one knows what it is, and when I say its "hot fries covered in melted curds and gravy" people look at me like I'm a freak lol.

If my theaters started selling poutine, I'd be there once a week, if not more.

...god I need to order some stuff to make some. Now I'm craving it super-bad.

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Wahsobe

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@skyhighgam3r: Sorry I think I closed the page instead of hitting post.

Ya, it's pretty sweet. At one point it was New York Fries but now it is an in house Poutine that if I recall correctly doesn't taste much different.

When I did a 1 year work visa in Australia a couple decades back I had the same issue with no one knowing what I was talking about. Even worse somehow the idea of cheese, gravy and fries sounded disgusting to most people. I would literally have to walk them through it before they would even consider it.

Do you like cheese? - Yes

Do you like cheese on potato? - Eww no.

So you don't like cheese on a baked potato with bacon ect . . ? - Oh... yeah

Do you like gravy and fries? - Eww no.

Seriously you don't put gravy on potatoes? - Well ya potatoes but not fries.

You know fries are just cut up potatoes? - Well ya, but no they're different.

. . . No they are just cut up potatoes. - I guess

***sigh***

So potatoes and gravy - good, and cheese and potato - good, why not give cheese with gravy and potato a try? - Gravy and cheese sounds disgusting.

Why? - Because gravy usually tastes meaty.

You put cheese on meat. - No . . . well I guess, ya I guess I do.

***sigh***

Just try the F***ing poutine!!!!

Anyway my trick since no one had poutine there was to go and grab some KFC gravy (not great but does the trick) then grab some big fat pub fries and a basic mozzarella cheese (usually didn't have any curds) I'd heat them back up and throw it together. After a couple reluctant hands reached in next thing you know the plate was empty.

Dumbasses.

Another thing from that trip to OZ, no one knew what hot wings were back then either. Because of that wingettes and drumettes cost 2.50 a kilo. Needless to say, other backpackers were often jealous when I was cooking :)

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DoctorTanaka

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HBO Max 1
Roku 0

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pillarrocks

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I"ll probably get HBO Max next year when Godzilla vs King Kong is shown which is October. For $15 a month it's what I would pay at the movies when it was me and my 2 nephews at $5 per ticket. Plus I get watch the movie as many times as I want in the comfort of my own house.

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MoogleStar

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Gonna be fun getting all these for free.

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Asultana121x

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@mooglestar: and do you think that helps the industry whatsoever...?

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MoogleStar

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@asultana121x: Nope. But that's what happens when they remove it from cinemas and don't allow HBO Max in all countries.

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Wahsobe

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@mooglestar: Sadly that's where I went with Mulan. When it was first coming out they said you could only rent it if you had Disney+ and I wasn't about to pay for Disney plus just to rent a Movie. It was a pretty dirtbag move. I looked everywhere to see if I could legitimately rent it but there wasn't anywhere. I even tried to look and see if they had a delayed release date for it coming to other streaming sources but I couldn't find one. In the end I just watched it in HD for free.

This actually quite bothered me because I had lectured friends and family about making sure to pay to rent movies if they wanted to keep enjoying them being made. I told them it was important to support the film industry because they're in just as tight of a spot as anyone right now and it can easily come crashing down. I'm irritated that Disney put me in the position of having to choose overpaying or being a hypocrite.

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MoogleStar

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Edited By MoogleStar

@wahsobe: One of my favourite things to do once a week is to go to the movies with my girlfriend. Even a bad movie I don't mind seeing, just because I love the whole vibe and atmosphere so much. It's a terrible shame all the damage covid has done to the industry, among countless other things. I'd really love nothing more than to pay top dollar to see all those movies mentioned in the article in a theater. I mean jeez they all would be so epic on a big screen.

I can't say I feel guilty about downloading them to be honest. It feels like a slap in the face that all countries aren't treated the same, and aren't given the same benefits for something as trivial as streaming rights. So I'm just acting in turn.

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Asultana121x

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@mooglestar: you should pay for what you watch, nothing is free without a price down the road. Nothing will ever get made if everyone got it for free.

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MoogleStar

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@asultana121x: I pay for Netflix and Prime. If they don't give me the opportunity to pay then I will take.

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Asultana121x

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@mooglestar: then go see it in the theater or purchase it on disc or VOD when it gets released. Not to mention free stuff usually has shit picture and audio quality.

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MoogleStar

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@asultana121x: No actually once its released online in any capacity the quality is about as good as it gets. I'm not waiting for a Bluray release or paying individual VOD prices while other people are getting them all free as part of their package. Either it releases in theaters or is available to stream like Netflix or it's free.

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thomaswmak

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@asultana121x said:

Not to mention free stuff usually has shit picture and audio quality.

that's not really true... streaming on the other hand....

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deth420

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Edited By deth420

@mooglestar: Garr!

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