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.
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.
I got you something ✨nice✨ this year:— HBO Max (@hbomax) December 3, 2020
🎁 The biggest movie premieres
🎁 In theaters and on HBO Max the exact same day
🎁 Beginning December 25 with #WonderWoman1984#HBOMax #WBPictures https://t.co/BZgFFRrrg2 pic.twitter.com/J2KBdWd9Tf
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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