Warner Bros will release all of its 2021 movies simultaneously on HBO Max, an industry-shaking decision that demonstrates just how much impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on entertainment. The 2021 film slate will still get theatrical releases worldwide, Warner Bros. Pictures Group said today, however it will also be releasing them for an exclusive – and time limited – HBO Max period in the US.
“The hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S.,” WarnerMedia said today. “Following the one month HBO Max access period domestically, each film will leave the platform and continue theatrically in the U.S. and international territories, with all customary distribution windows applying to the title. ”
The movies will be released in 4K Ultra HD and HDR on HBO Max, the streaming service owners by WarnerMedia. In total there will be 17 releases operated in this manner, including hotly-anticipated pictures such as “Dune,” “Matrix 4,” and “Godzilla vs. Kong,” though that list could change as 2021 progresses.
The Little Things,
Judas and the Black Messiah,
Tom & Jerry,
Godzilla vs. Kong,
Those Who Wish Me Dead,
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,
In The Heights,
Space Jam: A New Legacy,
The Suicide Squad,
The Many Saints of Newark,
“Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone,” Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, said today. “We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”
As WarnerMedia puts it, while theatrical releases are still desirable, the reality of the COVID-19 situation in the US is that reduced capacity in theaters is likely to continue through 2021. “With this unique one-year plan,” Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, says, “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.”
Warner Bros. had already announced that the new “Wonder Woman 1984” movie would be released on HBO Max this month, with 4K Ultra HD with HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos version available to stream at the same time as a theater release. HBO Max is priced at $14.99 per month for new subscribers. However, if you’re already an HBO subscriber, you may already have access to the service.