WB's 2022 Movies Won't Be On HBO Max Day One, New 45-Day Theater Deal With AMC Announced

Warner Bros. has now signed deals with theater chains AMC, Cineworld, and Regal to have its movies play in theaters for 45 days.

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Movie theater chain AMC Entertainment has reached a deal with Warner Bros. for the movie studio's 2022 films to play in theaters for 45 days before they arrive anywhere else. In 2021, all WB movies are coming to HBO Max on day one due in part to COVID, but that's changing for 2022. This was already announced, but WB's deal with AMC hammers it home even more.

AMC chairman and CEO Adam Aron made the announcement of the new deal with AMC on Monday, according to Deadline. This follows WB's deal with Cineworld and Regal for similar 45-day theatrical windows.

All of WB's 2021 movies are launching on HBO Max in the US day-and-date with their theatrical debut, a move that has led to criticism by some filmmakers. Christopher Nolan, who has worked with WB for a long time with big projects like The Dark Knight and Tenet most recently, bashed the decision to bring movies to HBO Max on day one. He said films like The Matrix 4, Dune, The Suicide Squad, and The Many Saints of Newark are being positioned as loss leaders to help launch HBO Max and drive subscribers to the subscription service.

"In 2021, they've got some of the top filmmakers in the world, they've got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences," Nolan said. "They're meant to be out there for the widest possible audiences... And now they're being used as a loss-leader for the streaming service--for the fledgling streaming service--without any consultation. So, there's a lot of controversy. It's very, very, very, very messy. A real bait and switch."

WB had always said it would stop releasing its movies day-and-date on HBO Max in 2022. Aron, the CEO of AMC, said the theater chain is "especially pleased that Warners has decided to move away from day-and-date releases and commit to theatrical windows as well. We're having conversations with other movie studios in Hollywood."

Some of WB's big 2022 movies include The Batman, Aquaman 2, Black Adam, and Fantastic Beasts 3, among others.

AMC's stock price went below $2 per share earlier this year but it rallied mightily thanks in part to internet investors who bought up shares in an effort to stick it to short-sellers who were betting against AMC. A similar situation played out with GameStop.

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