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Warner Bros to Debut Entire 2021 Slate on HBO Max on Same Day as Theaters

Jason Gurwin

After the major news that “Wonder Woman 1984” would debut on HBO Max at the same time as theaters, Warner Media is now shaking it up further. They will be releasing their entire slate of movies simultaneously on HBO Max and in-theaters. For streaming customers, they will be able to watch new release films on HBO Max for one month after their debut.

Currently on the slate are major films like “Godzilla vs. Kong”, “The Suicide Squad”, “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, “Dune” and “Matrix 4.”

In their announcement, WarnerMedia says, “We are announcing today that, in the United States, the entire anticipated 17-film 2021 Warner Bros. motion picture slate is going to be released throughout the coming year in theaters and on HBO Max the same day. That’s a Warner Bros. motion picture just about once every three weeks. Said another way, when we release (the films) we will also be releasing them the same day on HBO Max, at no extra cost, for the first month of each film’s release.”

Full List of 2021 Warner Bros. Film Slate

  • The Little Things.
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Tom & Jerry
  • Godzilla vs. Kong
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  • In The Heights
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy
  • The Suicide Squad
  • Reminiscence
  • Malignant
  • Dune
  • The Many Saints of Newark
  • King Richard
  • Cry Macho
  • Matrix 4

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar continued, “As I mentioned in my post from a few weeks ago, we see an opportunity to do something firmly focused on the fans, which is to provide choice. Whether that choice is to enjoy a great new movie out at the cinema, to open up HBO Max, or to do both.”

By moving their films to streaming, this gives WarnerMedia the ability to drive subscriptions to HBO Max, in case movies theaters are shuttered with COVID cases spiking around the country. Earlier today, HBO Max dropped their free trial for new subscribers.

Disney made a similar decision with Pixar’s “Soul”, which will be released on Disney+ on Christmas Day. Unlike Mulan, the film will be included in your Disney+ subscription and won’t require an additional fee.

Earlier this year, NBCUniversal reached a deal with AMC that would allow them to bring new release films to PVOD just 17 days after they hit theaters.

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios. “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 theaters 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 theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. 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.”

Last month, AT&T revealed that HBO and HBO Max now have 38 million subscribers as of Q3 2020, up 1.7 million from last quarter. In Q2, the company revealed that 4.1 million had activated their HBO Max account, but now 8.6 million have activated the service.

The company just reached a distribution deal with Amazon Fire TV and is now available on Roku via AirPlay. With many subscribers not yet made the switch to HBO Max, this might be just the push they need to sign-up.