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Warner Bros. Sending Entire 2021 Movie Slate to Theaters and HBO Max Day-and-Date

Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2020 4:30 PM and updated on Friday, December 11, 2020 10:00 AM

© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Warner Bros. announced recently that it will be releasing every movie on its 2021 release schedule to theaters and its HBO Max streaming service simultaneously. The announcement is a recognition that the coronavirus-related woes for movie theaters will not end soon, and it marks the most aggressive shift yet for a studio to migrate audiences away from theaters to online streaming for new releases.

Last month, the studio announced that Wonder Woman 1984 would be following this approach, which we can now see was the opening salvo in what could be a full-out assault on movie theaters as part of the movie business.

HBO Max is a subscription-based streaming service that charges members $14.99 per month for access. There is no indication that Warner Bros. is planning to charge additional fees on top of the monthly charge for new releases, like Disney did with Mulan in September (but did not repeat with this month's release of Soul).

According to multiple news reports, new releases will be made available on HBO Max for 31 days, after which they will play exclusively in theaters, followed by streaming rentals through services like Amazon and FandangoNOW. It's not clear when they would return to HBO Max, nor how this new plan affects the traditional home video release on physical disc (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD). Our guess is that these are details that will be tested and measured and analyzed, starting with Wonder Woman 1984 and fine-tuned as each release happens.

The movies affected include:

Above: Photo from In the Heights. © 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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