All 2021 Warner Bros. Movies Will Debut on HBO Max and in Theaters
By Movieguide® Staff
As COVID-19 has plagued the box office and forced exhibitors and studios to reassess their release strategies, initial strategies included two main options: move forward with a theatrical release or bypass cinemas in favor of a release on one of the many streaming services.
TENET, and more recently THE CROODS: A NEW AGE, opted for a theatrical release with lackluster results. Movies such as TROLLS: WORLD TOUR, MULAN, and Pixar’s upcoming SOUL chose to go directly to streaming or VOD.
The Warner Bros. company’s schedule for their blockbuster lineup shifted drastically after TENET’s struggle to perform. But the studio giant made the radical decision to release their entire upcoming 2021 slate on streaming and in theaters.
All of Warner Bros. 2021 movies will see a “distribution model in which Warner Bros. will continue to exhibit the films theatrically worldwide, while adding an exclusive one month access period on the HBO Max streaming platform in the U.S. concurrent with the film’s domestic release.”
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” WarnerMedia Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said in a statement. “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.”
The goal for Warner Bros. is to support exhibitors and adapt to the pandemic restrictions and regulations.
“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,” Sarnoff continued. “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.”