Warner Bros. 2021 Movies Are Releasing in Theaters and On HBO Max Simultaneously

Warner Bros. announced that all of their 2021 movies will be released in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time. This is much different than the traditional release period. Typically, movies would be exclusively released to theaters for about a 90 day period(depending on their popularity) and then taken to online streaming services. Warner Bros. chief executive, Jason Kilar said this about the new distribution plan, “We are all in the middle of a pandemic, and we are all trying to figure our way through it. One of the things we can do to be helpful to them is to provide them with a steady stream of big-budget, well-told stories.”

While Warner Bros. sees this as a win-win situation for both them and theaters, Hollywood and theater chains see it very differently. The flip side is that it will get viewers used to having movies constantly available at their fingertips. Many think that it will hinder theaters to get back to where they used to be pre-pandemic. This is especially relevant as just last Thursday AMC, the world’s largest theater chain, dropped 16 percent in shares. The chief executive for AMC expressed his frustration in an email last week saying, “Clearly, WarnerMedia intends to sacrifice a considerable portion of the profitability of its movie studio division — and that of its production partners and filmmakers — to subsidize its HBO Max start-up,” said Aron. “As for AMC, we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense. We have already commenced an immediate and urgent dialogue with the leadership of Warner on this subject.”

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