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AT&T Management Confident About HBO Max Day And Date Releases For Remainder of 2021

Michael King

AT&T management was very confident about the strength of the upcoming day and date movie releases set for the remainder of 2021.

During their 2Q Earnings Call on Thursday morning, AT&T CEO John Stankey said that HBO Max had seen an increase of 2.8 million subscribers during the second quarter, which pushed their confidence.

So far, HBO Max has had a strong slate of films that have performed well during simultaneous release in theaters and on the streaming platform.

“Godzilla vs Kong,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”, and “Space Jam: A New Legacy” have all been solid releases for the company in theaters and on HBO Max.

HBO Max

HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals, and access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for $9.99 and ad-free plan for $14.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.

Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.

All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”

The company’s late summer and fall slate of films includes such tent pole titles as “The Suicide Squad,” “Dune,” and “The Matrix 4.”

Along with the slate of upcoming films, officials said HBO Max also has a strong bench of other content for the second half of 2021.

“Our lineup in the back half of the year is even stronger,” Stankey said. “With new seasons of popular series, such as ‘Succession,’ ‘Raised by Wolves,’ ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ and ‘Love Life.’”

Many movie theater owners are crying foul with regard to the supposed win-win scenario of simultaneous theatrical and streaming releases after Disney’s “Black Widow” took a 67% dive in box office sales this weekend. The blame, according to the National Association of Theater Owners (abbreviated as NATO, of course), lies squarely with Disney+’s Premier Access release strategy.

“Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life,” said NATO.

While NATO didn’t directly cite HBO Max in their statement, their implication is that each of the day and date release strategies falls into the same category.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar was very circumspect about the future of the theatrical release strategy beyond 2021. While he did not say that Warner Bros. and HBO Max would not return to a day and date release model in 2022, he confirmed that the “new normal” would not necessarily look like it did in the pre-pandemic world.

“I certainly don’t anticipate us going back to the way the world was in 2015 or ‘16 or ‘17, where windows were quite lengthy between theatrical and home exhibition, whether it was an a la carte transaction or something else,” Kilar said. “So we’ll have shorter windows for a portion of our slate, 45 days specifically.”

Kilar went on to say that Warner Bros. is producing 10 movies that will be on HBO Max on “day one.”

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