We were surprised when Warner Bros made the decision to release Wonder Woman 1984 directly to HBO Max along with some minor theater releases for Christmas. Now Warner Bros has followed suit and announced similar measure for their major releases for 2021. They will be releasing these movies directly to HBO Max and you will not need to pay extra for it while having a theater release in select theaters.
Here is the list of movies that will go directly to HBO Max: The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Other films include Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard and Cry Macho. These movies are slated to be on HBO Max for a one month window starting on their release in theater date so pay attention so you can watch these movies or they maybe pulled from HBO Max in a short month.
You will notice several big named and highly anticipated movies on this list like The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4, Dune, and Godzilla vs. Kong. On Geeky KOOL Presents, we were just speculating on Godzilla vs. Kong going to a streaming service and now we know.
In a statement announcing the news, Ann Sarnoff, CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, cited “unprecedented times” that “call for creative solutions.”
“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do,” said Sarnoff. “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.” (THR)
COVID-19 aka the Coronapocalypse has devastated the movie industry in every possible method. Movie Theaters were barely making it before the Coronapocalypse and now many of the theaters are going bankrupt and closing down forever while others are barely making it. The studios are money strapped because of their spending and borrowing of money to make their movies. Many of the cast and crew have struggled with no work or limited work with shut downs in their areas.
I expect a lot of movie studios to make similar choices and look at releasing to streaming. Studios are having to make loan payments for movies that are already finished on and sitting on the shelf so they are losing money hands over fist without bringing in any new money. The decision to dual release movies will get the cash flow moving for these companies and will be prizes for streaming services like HBO Max, Disney+, and Netflix.
This is another sign on the in theater experience is changing for fans and movies. Movie Theaters may not be dead yet but there isn’t much life left there. I would say it is on Hospice care. I am expecting to write an obituary article for movie theaters in the near future which really sucks.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)