In essentially the most seismic shift by a Hollywood studio but throughout the pandemic, Warner Bros Photos on Thursday introduced that each one of its 2021 movie slate together with a brand new Matrix film, Godzilla vs. Kong, and the Lin-Manuel Miranda adaptation Within the Heights will stream on HBO Max on the identical time the movies play in theaters.
Among the many myriad launch plan adjustments wrought by the pandemic, no studio has so totally embraced streaming as a lifeline. However after disappointing home ticket gross sales for Tenet, and with the vast majority of US theaters at the moment closed, the AT&T-owned Warner Bros. will flip to a hybrid distribution mannequin subsequent 12 months.
Movies will debut concurrently in theaters and on HBO Max within the US. After one month, they may cease streaming and proceed to play solely in theaters. The transfer follows Warner Bros’ determination to place Surprise Girl 1984 on HBO Max in December, together with a concurrent theatrical run. If that pivot despatched shockwaves by the trade, Thursday’s announcement rattled Hollywood to the core. “Given the unprecedented time that we’re in, we would have liked an artistic resolution to deal with our followers, our filmmakers, and our exhibitors,” mentioned Ann Sarnoff, chief govt of WarnerMedia Studios, in an interview. Large and daring is a necessity proper now. Sarnoff referred to like it a short-lived resolution and a one-year plan. The studio mentioned different choices releasing big-budget movies solely in lowered capability theaters or delaying movies one other 12 months weren’t interesting.