Warner Bros. Pictures Group dropped a bomb on the entertainment world today, announcing that they will be releasing their 2021 theatrical slate both in theaters and on the streaming platform HBO Max on the same day. Previously, it was announced that Wonder Woman 1984 would have this model starting on December 25, 2020, but now it will happen for the entire 2021 film slate. From the press release:
The hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S. 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. All films will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR on HBO Max.
The titles having the same day release that may interest Comics Pit readers include: Wonder Woman 1984, Mortal Kombat, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Dune, and The Matrix 4.
The move is a good one for HBO Max and its subscribers, but its benefit is less certain for theaters. Warner Bros. says this is a temporary model to deal with the current pandemic, but is it really? It’s been reported that some studio partners, for example Dune & Godzilla vs. Kong’s Legendary, were not informed of this deal before it hit the press. Wonder how this will go over for them?
Looks like things are a changin’…