Warner Bros Sets Entire 2021 Movie Slate To Debut On HBO Max Along With Cinemas In Seismic Windows Model Shakeup
Warner Media didn’t have to wait until Wonder Woman 1984 debuted both on HBO Max and in theaters: The Burbank, CA-based Warner Bros is putting its entire 2021 theatrical slate on HBO Max for the films’ respective first month of release, concurrent with a global cinema release.
Following the one-month HBO Max access period domestically, each film will leave the platform and continue theatrically in the U.S. and international territories, with all customary distribution windows applying to the title.
HBO max, warnermedia, distribution deal
And get a load of what you’ll be able to see in-home next year: Denzel Washington’s 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 and Matrix 4.
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Going In Theaters & HBO Max On Christmas Day, Unprecedented For A Superhero Tentpole
Many are expecting that Wonder Woman 1984 will already lose money, with financial analysts in the know saying that the $200 million DC sequel will need to do 40% more than Tenet‘s current global take of $357.8 million to hit breakeven. “If Wonder Woman 1984 does Tenet numbers, it will lose money,” one industry insider told Deadline recently.
Clarifies and assures Warner Bros. Pictures Group chief operating officer Carolyn Blackwood: “This is a temporary 2021 plan. We have to support exhibition with the product. We don’t think we’re changing the economics of these movies any more than the pandemic has. We’re adding another interval and period for revenue with HBO Max.”
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Sarnoff in today’s statement. “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 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 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.”
It’s going to be interesting to see the outcome of WarnerMedia’s decision here today and its ramifications on exhibition, rival studios and other streaming players like Amazon and Netflix. Netflix has been aggressive about closing the window, and always ran into headwinds when trying to make a deal with big exhibition. The HBO Max deal changes everything.
Will Disney follow WarnerMedia’s lead here and dump the entire frosh Marvel movies on Disney+? How does exhibition come out of this? When Cineworld/Regal reopens, will they even play Warner Bros’ titles?
Source: Anthony D’Alessandro/Deadline
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