Warner Bros Entire 2021 Movie Lineup To Debut On Both Theatres and HBO Max
BY Stephanie Larson
Published 2 years ago
Warner Bros. really knows how to drop a bombshell, don’t they?
Last month, it was just Wonder Woman 1984 but now, it’s the entire year-round roster that will also be going into HBO Max.
Much like the Wonder Woman release format, each film will be available on HBO Max for a month before leaving and continuing its full run in theatres. Films you can expect to see here 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.
According to today’s announcement made by WanerMedia Studios and Networks Group Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff and WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, this new hybrid model “was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic.”
“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 in their statement. “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.”
“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,” said Sarnoff. “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.”
As Warner Bros. Pictures Group chief operating officer Carolyn Blackwood clarified though, the surprising move is only a temporary plan for 2021. The studio is simply looking for creative solutions in the midst of big changes in the market and the unknown of what will happen to the industry in the following year. “We have to support exhibition with the product,” Blackwood said. “We don’t think we’re changing the economics of these movies any more than the pandemic has. We’re adding another interval and period for revenue with HBO Max.”
Suffice to say, no one can predict how this move would affect earnings for these films though it would be interesting to see how Warner’s decision would affect exhibition, the other streaming platforms, and, of course, other rival studios. It’s also still up in the air how theatres will react to this news and if they will change charges for admission. And last but not least, it also begs the question if other studios like Disney will follow Warner’s lead on HBO Max and also dump all their content (Marvel and all) on Disney+. If one thing’s for sure, 2021 will be a pretty interesting year for the film industry.