In a landmark decision from motion pictures company Warner Bros., every film in the entertainment conglomerate's 2021 film slate will be available to stream on HBO Max the same day it is released in theatres. Yes, including the much-awaited Timothée Chalamet remake of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.
In response to the unprecedented impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on the film industry, Warner Bros. move to release films simultaneously on HBO Max further highlights the undisputedly important role that streaming services play in the entertainment industry.
Joining Dune in the impressive line-up is The Matrix 4, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical adaptation of In the Heights, Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark and The Suicide Squad among several others.
The premise of the new arrangement between the picture company and streaming platform is that each film released will be available for subscribers to watch for 31 days from the launch date. After this, the films will only be available to watch in cinemas, until they reach the traditional home entertainment frame.
While the announcement will certainly excite many who prefer to watch movies in the comfort of their own home, Warner Bros. has made it clear that this new approach will only be temporary, confirming that the release model will not extend into 2022.
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“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann 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 theatres 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 theatres 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.”