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Editor's take: Warner Bros. made no mention of HBO Max in announcing premiere dates for three movies due out in 2023, suggesting a return to its traditional theatrical release model. To get there, however, a number of things need to line up just right.
Warner Bros. Pictures' controversial decision to release 2021 movies on HBO Max the same day as their theatrical debut didn't sit well with many industry players. Fortunately for them, and theater owners alike, it seems as if the dual release plan is indeed a temporary one.
On Wednesday, the studio announced release dates for three upcoming theatrical titles.
Furiosa, a prequel to George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, is scheduled to arrive on June 23, 2023. Coyote vs. Acme, a live-action / animated hybrid from director Dave Green will drop on July 21, 2023. It'll feature "the age-old rivalry between the Roadrunner nemesis and his preferred mail order supplier." The Color Purple musical will round out the year on December 20, 2023.
Industry executives, theater owners and movie buffs alike would no doubt like to see a return to the old way of releasing and watching films. Of course, that is all contingent upon the pandemic being in the rear-view mirror by mid-2023 and theaters being able to hang on until then.
If 2020 has taught us anything, however, it's that forecasting events related to the pandemic is a coin toss at best.