mirror– All of Warner Bros. studios’ epic Hollywood films that are scheduled to come out next year will be available to stream online right away.
The mega-movie making company usually gives cinemas 90 days exclusivity of blockbusters but in 2021 all 17 films that are set to be released- including the Suicide Squad sequel, The Matrix 4, Godzilla vs. Kong – will be uploaded to HBO Max for US fans to watch at home.
However, there is a catch as each movie will appear on HBO Max – which is not yet available in the UK – for only one month before leaving the service.
After the first 4-weeks, the films will still be available in movie theatres and when ticket sales get low the movies are expected to be available on iTunes, DVD and eventually back to HBO Max.
Jason Kila, WarnerMedia’s chief executive explained the companies decision to switch up the way they release blockbusters – due to the coronavirus pandemic- during a chat with The New York Times.
“Like a lot of businesses, theaters are in a tough spot right now,” he said. “We are all in the middle of a pandemic, and we are all trying to figure our way through it.
“One of the things we can do to be helpful to them is to provide them with a steady stream of big-budget, well-told stories.”
And even with a vaccine on the horizon, the movie boss said that Warner Bros. plans are set in stone – even if life returns to normal in the coming months – as the new distribution model will stand for the year.
Toby Emmerich, chairman of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group also told the outlet that Warner’s movies would continue to have traditional theatrical releases outside of the United States, where HBO Max does not currently exist.
“These are global releases with normal theatrical marketing campaigns,” he shared.
HBO Max is expected to begin rolling out around the rest of the world next year.
Playing down the impact this could have on cinemas, Toby added: “We really believe that in markets where HBO Max exists and theaters are also open that many consumers will chose the theatrical experience.
“We hope that this will prove to be a win-win — for movie fans in the United States, for filmmakers because their movies won’t sit on a shelf and get stale, for theater owners who can rely on a stable supply of movies, for HBO Max subscribers.”
Following the news breaking, the Warner Bros. official Twitter account shared a message with fans which read: “I got you something nice this year: The biggest movie premieres In theatres and on HBO Max the exact same day Beginning December 25 with #WonderWoman1984#HBOMax#WBPictures.”
After the message was posted on the micro-blogging site, a number of fans shared their worries for cinemas and movie theatre venues.
A worried fan penned: “Are you trying to kill movie theatres?! You know society is 110% lazy and will always just wait til it comes out on streaming services! Just release them in theatres traditionally! Why?! Cause the vaccine is on its way in January of next year!! Just let movie theatres live!!!”
Others added: “Dear Warner Brothers you do realize a vaccine for covid is coming you do realize you just killed movie theatres by doing this” and: “Not sure how I feel about this. Kind of a soft blow to movie theatres.”
Others praised the move.
One typed: “Warner Bros Pictures just changed the entire cinematic & movie landscape with one single move. I can’t wait to see all these movies on HBO Max in 2021! Talk about a total knockout & a game changer this is massive! Lets see how this move plays out I’m very intriqued to watch this!”
Another added: “I dig this model. Movie theaters are gross and the people in the theaters are even grosser between the talking and the texting etc. People ruin the movie going experience so sitting home in my underwear with peace and quiet is optimal. The Batman 2022!!!”