While there have been a few instances in the last calendar year of films launching unconventional releases, Warner Bros. have preemptively put a plan in motion that will see their entire 2021 slate of theatrical releases hit the HBO Max streaming platform at the same time.
When Wonder Woman 1984 announced recently that the film would premiere both in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas Day, the deviation in standard studio practice prompted major headlines. As the industry works to adjust to the unprecedented fallout of the ongoing pandemic, it seems the only way to move forward is to create a new path.
The entire cache of 2021 films from Warner Bros will follow the same model as Wonder Woman 1984 in that they will be available on HBO Max for 31 days for the service's subscribers. Then, the film will only be available in theaters until it becomes available for rent via more traditional streamers lime Amazon, Fandango, and Apple.
Warnermedia CEO Ann Sarnoff issued the following statement about what is being referred to as a temporary fix and an initiative that will allow the studio to progress into 2021.
“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,” said Sarnoff.
“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,” she added.
Among the more enticing films scheduled for a 2021 release include the Denis Villeneuve version of Dune, The Sopranos-driven The Many Saints of Newark, The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4, the horror The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, and the Lebron James-era Space Jam: A New Legacy to name a few.
CLICK HERE to see a complete list of films from Warner Bros being released in 2021. The teaser of the announcement can be seen below.