Warner Bros. to Stream Entire 2021 Slate of Feature Films on HBO Max, Simultaneously With Theatrical Releases

Rebecca Rubin and Matt Donnelly, reporting for Variety:

When Warner Bros. announced that “Wonder Woman 1984” would land on the streaming service HBO Max on Christmas, the same time it debuts in theaters, many expected it to be an isolated experiment in response to an unprecedented pandemic.

Instead, the studio will deploy a similar release strategy for the next 12 months. In a surprising break from industry standards, Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 slate — a list of films that includes “The Matrix 4,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” remake, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical adaptation of “In the Heights,” the “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark” and “The Suicide Squad” — will debut both on HBO Max and in theaters on their respective release dates. The shocking move to release movies day-and-date underscores the crisis facing movie theaters and the rising importance of streaming services in the wake of a global health crisis that’s decimated the film exhibition community.

Compare and contrast with Disney, which debuted Mulan on Disney+ but made you pay $30 — on top of your monthly subscription — to see it when debuted. This sure makes HBO Max seem like a must-have.

Thursday, 3 December 2020