Warner Bros. sets entire 2021 theatrical slate to debut on HBO Max and theaters

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Warner Bros. obviously feels great about the impending HBO Max debut of “Wonder Woman 1984.” In a seismic shift, the historic movie studio announced that 17 of its films set for release in 2021 will move to a simultaneous release on HBO Max and theaters.

The aggressive move comes after a year of movie theater shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement comes after the announcement a few weeks ago that the hotly anticipated “Wonder Woman” sequel will be the first to use this distribution model.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ heading to HBO Max and Theaters on Christmas Day

Warner Bros. officially decides to release the hotly anticipated ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel simultaneously on streaming and in theaters.

The new announcement affects about 17 Warner Bros. releases including major blockbusters like “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “The Suicide Squad,” and “Dune.” A full list of the affected films is included below:

  • Wonder Woman 1984
  • 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
  • Matrix 4

Warner Bros. decision to move its 2021 calendar to streaming comes after reports that Netflix bid $200 million to distribute “Godzilla vs. Kong.” The offer lit a fire under Warner Bros. to figure out a new distribution strategy to compete with streaming services like Netflix.

HBO Max, Warner Media’s own streaming service, debuted to subpar subscribers earlier this year compared to other services. Only 8.6 million of 28.7 million HBO subscribers have activated their free HBO Max account with only 36.3 million subscribers to date. That is far behind the current leaders in the streaming market, Netflix (183 million) and Disney+ (73.7 million).

A move this aggressive will need to see a large jump in subscriber numbers to be considered worthwhile for the company. It will undoubtedly cause some strain between Warner Bros. and movie theaters in the long run, unless AMC completely forgot its previous public battle with Universal for trying to do the same thing. Click here for more on that.

HBO Max costs $14.99/month to subscribe.

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