Warner Bros. To Release All 2021 Movies On HBO Max Same Day As Theaters
By Kevin Hoskinson
Warner Bros. dropped a bombshell this morning, announcing that its 2021 film slate is going to hit HBO Max the same day as theaters. This includes films like The Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs. Kong, Matrix 4, In The Heights, Mortal Kombat and many more. The announcement was made by Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia.
“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.”
“After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months,” said Kilar. “More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”
“This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners and moviegoing in general throughout 2021,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “We have a fantastic, wide ranging slate of titles from talented and visionary filmmakers next year, and we’re excited to be able get these movies in front of audiences around the world. And, as always, we’ll support all of our releases with innovative and robust marketing campaigns for their theatrical debuts, while highlighting this unique opportunity to see our films domestically via HBO Max as well.”
This is massive news for the film industry as a whole. It completely shatters the previous model, which gave theaters exclusive rights to most movies for a certain amount of time before they made their debuts elsewhere. It’s anyone’s guess how this will affect the theater industry going forward, but at least they will have something to show when they open up again. It’s an interesting experiment, and if we thought this year was the one to watch, I have a feeling 2021 is going to be the real eye opener.
What do you all think? Are you going to watch these films at theaters or are you going to watch from the comfort of you own home?