AT&T‘s Warner Bros. announced Thursday that every one of its movies scheduled to launch in 2021 will be launched on HBO Max at the same time they can be found in theaters. It’s at present a one-year plan.
AMC shares closed down almost 16% on the information.
It’s an instance of how AT&T is adapting to the coronavirus pandemic, permitting individuals to soundly watch new movies at dwelling with out having to enterprise out to a movie theater, lots of which have been closed due to the rising unfold of Covid. It’s additionally a transfer that Warner Bros. already made with “Wonder Woman 1984,” which will be launched to theaters and HBO Max on Christmas Day. That movie was initially scheduled to come back out in the summer season, however was delayed a number of occasions earlier than WarnerMedia determined to launch it on HBO Max.
HBO Max is AT&T’s on-line video service, which launched in the U.S. in May. It prices $14.99 per 30 days and contains entry to films and TV exhibits.
“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do,” Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group stated. “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.”
Warner Bros. films launching in 2021 embrace “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.”
Universal took a similar approach in April and launched “Trolls World Tour” on-line and in theaters at the same time. But, that required individuals to buy the movie because it wasn’t obtainable as a part of a subscription package deal at the time. In July, Universal shortened the number of days films needed to run in theaters earlier than they have been obtainable on-line by an settlement with AMC Theaters. Before that accord, theaters had unique rights to Universal movies for 90 days.
Disney has additionally experimented with launching a blockbuster movie immediately on streaming. Earlier this yr, Disney launched “Mulan” on Disney+ as a one-time, $30 buy.
Cinemark, a U.S. movie theater chain, responded to WarnerMedia’s choice on Thursday afternoon. “In light of the current operating environment, we are making near-term booking decisions on a film-by-film basis,” a Cinemark spokesperson stated. “At this time, Warner Brothers has not provided any details for the hybrid distribution model of their 2021 films.”
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the dad or mum firm of Universal Studios and CNBC.
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