Wonder Woman 1984 ended up being just the tip of the iceberg, as Warner Bros. will premiere all of its releases this year on HBO Max as well as in theaters on the same exact day.
The 17-film line-up includes: The Suicide Squad, Dune, Matrix 4, Godzilla vs. Kong, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Tom and Jerry, In the Heights, and Cry Macho.
Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group explained the move by stating that “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.”
Sarnoff called the plan “unique” and also referred to the decision as a “one-year plan”, to possibly assure movie theaters that they were not giving up on the traditional distribution and exhibition model, saying that “…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 WarnerMedia CEO Jason 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.”
Each film is scheduled to air on HBO Max for one month, and will continue to play in theaters after leaving the streaming channel.
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