Warner Bros Pictures Group has announced that it is “committed to releasing its 2021 film slate via a unique, consumer-focused distribution model” in which the studio will continue to exhibit its movies theatrically worldwide, while adding an exclusive one month access period on the HBO Max streaming platform in the US concurrent with the film’s domestic release.
The hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the US. Following the one month HBO Max access period domestically, each film will leave the platform and continue theatrically in the US and international territories, with all customary distribution windows applying to the title. All films will be available in 4K and HDR on HBO Max. This announcement was made today by Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group (of which Warner Bros. is part) and Jason Kilar, CEO, WarnerMedia.
Warner Bros Pictures Group’s 2021 release slate currently comprises of 17 titles (with release dates where available): The Little Things (January 29th), Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry (March 5th), Godzilla vs Kong (May 21st), Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (June 4th), In The Heights (June 18th), Space Jam: A New Legacy (July 16th), The Suicide Squad (August 6th), Reminiscence (April 16th), Malignant, Dune (October 1st), The Many Saints of Newark (March 12th), King Richard (November 19th), Cry Macho and Matrix 4 (December 22nd).
“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. “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 US 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,” added Jason Kilar, CEO at WarnerMedia. “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 Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “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.”
The news builds on the announcement earlier this year that Wonder Woman 1984 will premiere on HBO Max in the US on December 25th. In the UK, the movie will in cinemas on December 16th.
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