Warner Bros (part of AT&T) has developed a new way of handling the new reality — simultaneous issuing new movies in the theaters and on HBO Max. This bifurcated approach be welcome for those of us who are not about to sit in a large movie theatre even for the most anticipated movie. Personally, I’m quite pleased that I’ll be able to watch Wonder Woman 1984, Dune, and others at home the day it comes out at movie theaters.
Note that the new release movies will only be available on HBO Max for 30 days. That means it won’t be possible to wait until near the end of the year and binge watch all 17 of the movies subject to this special treatment.
The 17 movies include: The Matrix 4, Dune, In the Heights, The Suicide Squad, the prequel to The Sopranos, a Clint Eastwood movie Cry Macho, another Space Jam movie, and more.
Note: At time of writing, HBO Max does not work with Roku but can still be watched on your computer or iPad.
If you figure, as I did, that I’m going to want to see these movies at home (and you have the cash), here’s a 20% discount for prepaying six months. https://www.hbomax.com/?utm_id=sa%7c71700000067030777%7c58700006330646679%7cp57134732373&gclid=Cj0KCQiA5bz-BRD-ARIsABjT4ngrkYzFY3wHpl7WvKCFi7WIrAyPg94MYJN98Ic76UByOaP-O-jhlnIaAlZnEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
For a description of the objections to HBO Max turning everything on its head, read: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/dec/08/christopher-nolan-leads-industry-fury-over-warner-bros-streaming-move
Warner Bros 2021 Movies to Debut in Theater and on HBO Max at Same Time
Friday December 4, 2020 2:24 am PST by Tim Hardwick
Warner Bros will debut all its movie releases next year on the HBO Max streaming service at the same time as their theatrical release dates, reports Variety.
Like “Wonder Woman 1984,” which lands on HBO Max for Christmas the same time as it debuts in theaters, the films that Warner Bros plans to release in 2021 will be available to HBO Max subscribers for 31 days.
The list of 17 movies includes “The Matrix 4” and Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” remake, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical adaptation of “In the Heights,” the “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark,” and “The Suicide Squad.”
After the one-month mark, those movies will continue to play in theaters until they reach the traditional home entertainment frame, after which people will be able to rent them through online platforms like Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.
WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff referred to the model as a “unique one-year plan.” Executives at the company say the initiative isn’t expected to continue beyond 2021, but is being considered a temporary solution in response to the ongoing global heath crisis.
The decision highlights the hardship facing movie theaters and the increasing importance of streaming services in the midst of the pandemic, and upends the longstanding business model in the commercial cinema industry of observing a significant period of theatrical exclusivity.
Theater chains usually want to attract audiences for as long as possible before they have the option to stream movies at home, with some requiring a 90-day period of exclusivity before movies go to home streaming services.
It remains unclear whether the 17 movies will still be eligible for awards. The traditional theatrical release plan is a proven route to eligibility, since film awards typically require a theatrical run for their candidates.
HBO Max is owned by Warner Bros’ ultimate parent company, AT&T. The service costs $14.99 and is available as a native app on the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K, but second and third-generation Apple TV owners need to AirPlay HBO Max content from an iOS device to the TV to watch. HBO Max is only available in the U.S., so international markets won’t be affected.