The film business is struggling hard during COVID-19. While film productions are back to work, there’s the question of what, exactly, to do with these movies. Because, well, COVID is still bad and we probably won’t be truly okay until 2022 at the earliest.
No one really wants to risk their health by going to a movie theatre, despite the fact that there are movies coming out that you want to see. Warner Bros is making an interesting decision for 2021. They’re going to be releasing their slate of 17 films in theatres, but also releasing them to HBO Max on the same day.
More importantly, they’re not charging you extra for this if you’re already a subscriber.
Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios said of this decision:
“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. 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.”
It seems like the reception for them releasing Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max on Christmas was their test run to see how it would be received. Or, well, that’s how it comes across to us anyway. While movie theatre owners may not agree with the “win-win” here, it’ll be interesting to see how other studios will deal with this move from Warner Bros.
This list of films that will appear on HBO Max the same day as theatres are 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.
Either way, it’s probably a good time to split the $14.99 USD price point with your family or friends if you want to avoid the theatres.
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