Warner Brothers To Release Entire 2021 Movie Line Up On HBO Max

Warner Bros announced this week that they would be putting their entire 2021 movie slate on HBO Max for each film’s first respective month of release.

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After Warner Media releases the films for the first month on HBO Max, each one will then leave the streaming service and continue its scheduled theatrical release in the US and international territories; all films will be given a customary distribution schedule. This system will make it easier for individuals to watch some of the most anticipated movies of the new year without having to leave their homes in the middle of a global health crisis. 

Films that will be made available on HBO Max in 2021 include: The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In the Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho and Matrix 4.

It’s projected that movie theater companies will not be too keen on this decision considering Warner Bros is one of the biggest Hollywood studios and produces a hefty chunk of the movies that are released annually. It will also be interesting to see how much these movies cost once they leave HBO Max for theatrical release. Theaters that have also been taking extra precautions and adopting a multitude of health and safety policies to remain in business during the pandemic will likely also not be too happy about this new system that motivates people to stay home, however, considering the fact that Covid-19 has now killed over 280,000 Americans, it seems necessary.

“The hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic.”

According to a spokesperson for WarnerMedia, deciding whether or not to re-shelve every 2021 movie to be released once the pandemic is over was a major dilemma for the studio throughout the past few months, especially considering theaters were still open throughout the country as a means of staying in business, so they came up with this compromised deal. 

WarnerMedia Chair and CEO, Ann Sarnoff, made the announcement this week and while there were apparently rumors around the Warner Bros studio that something big was coming in December, many of the employees were caught off guard by this massive move to release an entire movie slate on a streaming service first. 

HBO Max in general has been struggling when compared to some of its streaming counterparts. There are currently 8.6 million activated accounts, and part of the reason for this low number is due to the fact that HBO Max has yet to reach a deal with third-party distributors like the Amazon Fire TV or Roku, making it impossible for users with these devices to watch even if they have an HBO Max account. Some of the individuals behind the movies themselves are also worried about the profits that they could lose by releasing on a streaming platform before the theater. 

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“With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners with a steady pipeline of films, while also giving moviegoers the chance to see our amazing 2021 films.”

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The talks of a vaccine has most movie studios and theater companies excited for the possibility of opening their doors again, however, the uncertainty behind when and how the vaccine will be distributed is what motivated Warner Bros specifically to take action now to keep that “steady pipeline of films” from getting clogged. 

“After considering all available options and the projected state of movie-going throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months,” said Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia.

“More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”

WarnerMedia representatives claim that all movie releases will be supported by “innovative and robust” marketing campaigns as they normally would in non-pandemic circumstances. Beyond just observing how theaters and moviegoers react to this new system as it starts to be implemented, it will be just as interesting to see how competing platforms, such as Netflix or Hulu, keep up with this sped up movie watching experience.