Warner Ramps Up HBO Max Streaming Offers w/ Release of All 2021 Movies
Just a few weeks after announcing Wonder Woman 1984’s simultaneous screening via HBO Max and theaters on Christmas. Warner Bros. made another major announcement. All Warner movies scheduled for release in 2021, will follow the same release arrangement as that of Wonder Woman 1984 — same day launch in movie houses and by way of the HBO Max streaming platform.
This denotes that the showing of highly anticipated Warner Bros movies will no longer be cancelled once a release date has been announced, because movie fans can still watch them via HBO Max in 4K Ultra HD and HDR. This also means the AOL-Warner streaming platform can expect to win new subscribers in massive numbers, because getting to watch a major Warner movie will not be just a one-time Christmas treat.
In line with the new announcement, Warner also released a video highlighting the new same-day release arrangement by showing a lineup of 17 exciting movies for release in 2021; The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Godzilla vs. Kong, Tom & Jerry and Matrix 4, just to mention a few.
How will Warner Bros’ New Release Format Impact Theaters?
The new release format will have the movie hitting theaters and HBO Max on the date of scheduled release, and will be available for HBO Max viewing for a month.
After which, the field will be left open for theaters to exclusively cater to audiences where HBO Max is still not available or who haven’t subscribed yet; but only up to the official date of the movie’s home release engagement at HBO Max and availability in 4K DVD, Blu-ray. and Digital HD. It’s also worth noting that like with Wonder Woman 1984, all these movies will be available on HBO Max in 4K Ultra HD and HDR.
While theaters are hardly making any progress in light of the worsening pandemic health crisis, the announced theater release of Wonder Woman 1984 on December 16 can still be canceled. Theaters have no recourse once orders to shutdown will once stay-at-home orders will again be mandated in order to stop the continuing spread of the coronavirus disease.
While prior to the pandemic theater owners, including other movie moguls fought hard against Netflix’s scheme of having an original movie released for theater viewing just to meet the Academy Awards eligibility requirements; but only briefly as Netflix has to focus on releasing its original movies to its core market, the home viewers.
Today, theaters are confronted with the reality that it will take a long time before everything goes back to normal. Currently, theaters cannot afford to challenge Warner Media’s decision, as the battle for viewership is now between streaming networks.