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Warner Bros. To Day-And-Date Release 2021 Slate on HBO Max

Huge news in the last 24hrs from Warner Bros. Pictures as they confirm that their entire 2021 slate will day-and-date premiere on HBO Max.

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There’s absolutely no denying that 2020 and Coronavirus has decimated the global box-office. A year which had started out with the potential to be another record breaker has instead become a ghost town.

We’ve seen major studios sending lower tier blockbusters like The Witches direct-to-streaming. Whilst others like Tenet have flown the flag for cinemas and attempted to re-ignite cinema goers.

In the last 24hrs Warner Bros. has made an Earth-shattering announcement in regards to its plans for 2021. The studios will be day-and-date releasing its ENTIRE 2021 slate in theatres and HBO Max in the US. That means if you don’t feel able to attend the cinema you’ll be able to get all WB’s latest blockbusters from the comfort of your living room.

Titles headed to HBO Max as part of the scheme include The Suicide Squad, Dune, The Matrix 4, The Little Things, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat and Space Jam: A New Legacy. When all is said and done there will be over 20 films which will debut under this new method.

Streaming on the same day they release in cinemas, each film will be available on HBO Max for 31 days. After this period they will continue with their theatrical window before following the usual home video release strategy becoming available on platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and iTunes. No word on if/when each title will return to HBO Max as yet.

WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff referred to the model as a “unique one-year plan.” Stressing that this plan is not – currently – something the studio wishes to take in to 2022 and beyond.

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” Sarnoff said in a 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,” she continued. “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.”

No wonder yet on how this change will affect international markets. But with Wonder Woman 1984 rumoured to be headed to Sky Store this could be the new normal for 2021.


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