It certainly has been a strange year for movies. Many of the big movies expected out this year have been pushed back a year or more due to the pandemic keep many movie theaters closed. A few have come out, but it’s obvious that not a lot of people feel comfortable going to the theaters at the time being. Still others have been released digitally, but with a price tag meaning you had to either buy the movie outright without seeing it or paying an additional fee to a streaming service you already had.
Today, Warner Bros. Pictures announced a hybrid release plan for their upcoming 2021 movies. They are planning to go ahead with their current release schedule for theaters, but each movie will now also be available on HBO Max in the United States the same day. It’s a plan that will start to be implemented later this month. After months of delays, Warner Brothers stated that Wonder Woman 1984 would have a simultaneous release in theaters and HBO Max on Christmas Day. After one month on the streaming service in the US, each movie will leave the platform and continue as scheduled both in domestic and international theaters.
Ann Sarnoff, CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group had this to say:
“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.”
The expected 2021 slate of movie release for Warner Brothers looks to include 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.
Right now, the studio is making this to be a one year plan.
HBO Max has a subscription cost of $14.99 a month.