All Warner Bros films launching in 2021 will be streamable through HBO Max on day one

Polycount

Posts: 2,761   +571
Staff member
In context: It's no secret that the movie theater industry hasn't been doing particularly well this year -- due in no small part to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus. As thousands upon thousands of potential moviegoers have chosen to stay home and avoid crowded places, producers and theater chains have been scrambling to find a solution. For Warner Brothers, that solution will come in the form of a hybrid premiere strategy.

Throughout 2021, all of the company's new releases will premiere via HBO Max on day one, alongside their theatrical releases. This is fantastic news for consumers (it means more choice), but for theater chains, it could be a heavy blow to their bottom line -- early theater-only exclusivity is a major revenue pusher for the likes of AMC and Cinemark.

Both of these companies have well over 500 theaters each, and if they're forced to share film debuts with digital viewing mediums, all that overhead -- even with many theaters temporarily closed -- could hurt them quite a bit. This is something WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group CEO Ann Sarnoff is well aware of.

"We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition," Sarnoff said in a statement. "But we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021."

In other words, while Warner is sympathetic to the plight of theater chains, its own needs -- and those of its customers -- must come first. However, the company still hopes that viewers who are capable of doing so will choose to see its upcoming films, such as Matrix 4 and Dune 2, at physical theater locations. This will allow the company to continue to "support [its] partners in exhibition" while giving more health-conscious customers an alternative way of viewing the latest blockbusters.

The big question is how all of this will play out in practice. Typically, theater tickets are only good for one viewing session -- a not-insignificant portion of moviegoers likely return in the weeks following a good film's launch to watch it again with friends, effectively giving the theater extra cash.

With a streaming service like HBO Max, though, you could theoretically burn through ten Matrix 4 viewing sessions in a single month with no limitations. You could even stream the film to thirty friends in your living room (not that we're advising you to do such a thing in these risky times), if you choose, once again robbing theaters of that ever-valuable ticket revenue.

It's a precarious situation for physical cinemas, and we'll just have to wait and see how well they will hold up over the coming months.

Permalink to story.

 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,041   +474
Well if they would freakin stop charging absurb amounts for freakin Popcorn and a soda, maybe things would balance out. But lets be honest here, theaters were always going to be replaced by Netflix like services. Now HBO Max and Disney+ are hot things that ppl want and they have goods shows or at least enough variety for most. Hell even Apple+ has some decent shows. For the price of seeing a movie you could literally have all those other services for a month lol ...
There always been a saying, adapt or get left behind. Movie Theaters had their place and time, its time for the new. Online services is it cause well your at home where most like being to begin with, drinks and food have already been paid for and you dont have to deal with any annoying things like rude ppl, kids or a baby crying cause their parents thought that was a good idea. Heres a hint, its not. BABYSITTER or GRANDPARENTS its what both are good for and you will actually enjoy your time together, which is a very good thing in any relationship.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 835   +689
TechSpot Elite
Well if they would freakin stop charging absurb amounts for freakin Popcorn and a soda, maybe things would balance out. But lets be honest here, theaters were always going to be replaced by Netflix like services. Now HBO Max and Disney+ are hot things that ppl want and they have goods shows or at least enough variety for most. Hell even Apple+ has some decent shows. For the price of seeing a movie you could literally have all those other services for a month lol ...
There always been a saying, adapt or get left behind. Movie Theaters had their place and time, its time for the new. Online services is it cause well your at home where most like being to begin with, drinks and food have already been paid for and you dont have to deal with any annoying things like rude ppl, kids or a baby crying cause their parents thought that was a good idea. Heres a hint, its not. BABYSITTER or GRANDPARENTS its what both are good for and you will actually enjoy your time together, which is a very good thing in any relationship.
Great post. The only thing I would add is that somehow, someway, I would like to see drive-ins survive and even grow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: texasrattler

texasrattler

Posts: 1,041   +474
Great post. The only thing I would add is that somehow, someway, I would like to see drive-ins survive and even grow.
Some did come back and if done right, could be good. Not sure why these big movie companies aren't investing more into drive ins. Being outside plus your isolated in your own car. Hell thats covid protocols right there.
 

sreams

Posts: 81   +106
Dune 2? I thought the upcoming Dune movie was simply a new take on the original story... split into two movies.
 

dihartnell

Posts: 20   +11
Every business needs to do whats right for them
Well if they would freakin stop charging absurb amounts for freakin Popcorn and a soda, maybe things would balance out. But lets be honest here, theaters were always going to be replaced by Netflix like services. Now HBO Max and Disney+ are hot things that ppl want and they have goods shows or at least enough variety for most. Hell even Apple+ has some decent shows. For the price of seeing a movie you could literally have all those other services for a month lol ...
There always been a saying, adapt or get left behind. Movie Theaters had their place and time, its time for the new. Online services is it cause well your at home where most like being to begin with, drinks and food have already been paid for and you dont have to deal with any annoying things like rude ppl, kids or a baby crying cause their parents thought that was a good idea. Heres a hint, its not. BABYSITTER or GRANDPARENTS its what both are good for and you will actually enjoy your time together, which is a very good thing in any relationship.

I don't think Movie theaters are going anywhere anytime soon and I say that as someone who doesn't often go to the movies for many of the reasons you have suggested. The home cant really compete with the audio/visual experience of a movie theater. There are some movies that really should be experienced in a movie theater. When I do go its to the lounge style ones that have bar service, meal options and offer a more upmarket experience with less of the ***** teens cant seem to shut up.
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,972   +1,902
The home cant really compete with the audio/visual experience of a movie theater. There are some movies that really should be experienced in a movie theater.
I would disagree with you there, Don't get me wrong, I've definitely been to Movie theaters that have better sound than my setup at home (Dolby Atmos premium screen I went to in Bournemouth) but your average screening at a Cineworld or Empire Cinema are rubbish. The projectors are rubbish, the audio is muffled and either too quiet or too loud, they just tend to be a bit crap and I definitely would have enjoyed the movie more on my setup at home.

I'm the same as you, rarely go to the cinema, but over the years I only really go now when there's a movie I really want to watch and I go out of my way to find a decent cinema to experience it in, otherwise I'll just wait for the blu-ray and watch it at home.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 150   +216
I would disagree with you there, Don't get me wrong, I've definitely been to Movie theaters that have better sound than my setup at home (Dolby Atmos premium screen I went to in Bournemouth) but your average screening at a Cineworld or Empire Cinema are rubbish. The projectors are rubbish, the audio is muffled and either too quiet or too loud, they just tend to be a bit crap and I definitely would have enjoyed the movie more on my setup at home.

I'm the same as you, rarely go to the cinema, but over the years I only really go now when there's a movie I really want to watch and I go out of my way to find a decent cinema to experience it in, otherwise I'll just wait for the blu-ray and watch it at home.
Not going to lie. I've been to theaters too many times just to be disappointed with Projectors with Dim Bulbs. Even AMC & Marcus, though for the most part they were mostly local theaters.

I know most people wouldn't budget a home theater setup. But I put together my own a few years back, with my own home made 120" screen using stretched black out cloth. Makes for a very nice screen. Paired that with a $1000 BenQ projector that has a pretty short through, but not as crazy short as some of these newer units. The Picture is outstanding for 1080P, Color quality is just as good as my 4K Sony X900H in my living room. I have a 9.2 channel Onkyo Receiver that powers a 9.2 setup, all full size speakers. And while its pre Dolby Atmos era, ProLogic IIz does a decent job mixing the speakers upto 9.2. Just as bright as the best theaters. With the sound quality that easily matches and mostly exceeds. I was just lucky enough to have the space in my basement to build this setup. Used dense foam in the walls/ceiling to keep sound in and keep wife happy. For most just going to the theater is cheaper.
 

No Longer Human

Posts: 48   +64
I no longer go to the theatre. Big screen, yes, but the picture quality was dismal, Sound way too loud and poor quality. I shift in my chair, someone must have spilt a soft drink and my shoes want to stick to the floor. I'll pass.
I don't even have a 'home theatre' setup. I use a 49" Samsung Q70, sound goes thru a inexpensive NAD DAC/amp combo into some inexpensive tower speakers, but the sound is actually quite good.
You might think I don't really like movies, but I do! I enjoy movies going back as far as about 1940 so with that selection (80 years of film) I am in no way bothered about what's the latest and so-called greatest.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,735   +988
Dune 2? I thought the upcoming Dune movie was simply a new take on the original story... split into two movies.
Off topic, but I thought it was three movies? One filmed and produced, just waiting for release. The second is planned for if the first is well received, and there is a possible third one if the first movie is really well received and they want to milk it.
 

poohbear

Posts: 554   +474
I would much rather watch movies at home on my LG OLED TV and my Bose surround sound speakers. A decent home theatre setup that lasts you 10 years costs $1500-$2500 now, so I don't think I'll ever go to a cinema again.