Did HBO Max Just Revolutionize Hollywood with Streaming?

Warner Bros. is fundamentally changing Hollywood distribution for 2021 by releasing all 17 of its movies for the year in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time.

Warner Bros. will release Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day both in theaters and on HBO Max. Also, Warner Bros.’s entire 2021 movies will play on HBO Max streaming service and theatrically worldwide. However, it is important to note this major caveat — every movie will be available for only one month on HBO Max before it leaves the platform, and it will continue playing in theaters.

This will apply to every movie Warner Bros. planned on releasing in 2021. Some major movies include:

All of the movies will be available on HBO Max in 4K Ultra HD and HDR.

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In a blog post, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said the plan was necessary due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on film distribution.
“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,” Kilar added. “More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them a 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.”

Kilar asserted that most people will benefit from the plan. “We see an opportunity to do something firmly focused on the fans, which is to provide choice,” Kilar wrote, noting that the studio will release a new film about every three weeks. “Whether that choice is to enjoy a great new movie out at the cinema, to open up HBO Max, or to do both.”

CEO of WarnerMedia Studios Ann Sarnoff said the  “unprecedented times” led to “creative solutions.”

“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do,” she said in a statement.

“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.”

Check out the teaser announcing the new plan here.

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