Warner Bros. to release all its new movies on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously in 2021
During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of things change as far as how we handle what were once normal everyday activities. Many offices now allow you to work from home with Zoom meetings, classes have gone online for many students, and with theaters closed–some studios have chosen to release movies for on-demand streaming.
While some have released them for a one-time rental fee, lately we’ve seen the push for studios to make them exclusive to its streaming services. Disney experimented with it first with Mulan, and now HBO Max will follow suit with the premiere of Wonder Woman 1984 on December 25, 2020.
However, that comes with some caveats, as the film will only be available for a month on HBO Max during its theatrical run, and free trials of the service have been removed leading up to the premiere. Although, HBO Max is offering a promotion at this time to save 22% when you prepay for a six-month subscription for a total of $69.99 before taxes and fees.
Additionally, Warner Media announced yesterday that all of its blockbuster movies will debut simultaneously in theaters and on its HBO Max streaming service. Just as with Wonder Woman 1984, each film will be available exclusively for one month on the streaming platform while it continues its theatrical run.
Warner Brothers says this “hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S.” It’s a big gamble for the studio, as Dreamworks faced being banned by movie theater chains earlier this year when it suggested releasing all of its new movies for on-demand viewing in the future.
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Sarnoff. “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. 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.”
Currently, Warner Brothers slate of 2021 movie releases that will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max include, The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho and Matrix 4.