Wonder Woman: 1984 will be the first of many Warner Bros. movies heading to HBO Max on the same day they launch in movie theaters.
In an unprecedented move, Warner Bros. has announced that its entire 2021 movie slate will launch in a similar fashion to Wonder Woman: 1984.
The expansive 2021 slate includes projects such as The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.
The slate also includes Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, and Cry Macho.
The move is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought movie theaters to a halt in recent months, with several movies being delayed multiple times.
The good news is that this gives fans options of whether to venture to the cinemas or stream in the comfort of their own home.
“The hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic," Warner Bros. says in a statement.
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group.
“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."
"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."
"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.”
“After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing 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 WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar.
“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.”
“This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners and moviegoing in general throughout 2021,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich.
“We have a fantastic, wide-ranging slate of titles from talented and visionary filmmakers next year, and we’re excited to be able get these movies in front of audiences around the world."
"And, as always, we’ll support all of our releases with innovative and robust marketing campaigns for their theatrical debuts, while highlighting this unique opportunity to see our films domestically via HBO Max as well.”
What are your thoughts on the news?
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.