Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter byand
Warner Brothers is plotting a sweeping response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered movie theaters around the country. After announcing that Wonder Woman 1984 will go to HBO Max as well as theaters December 25, the studio has laid out a similar path for its 2021 slate amid uncertainty about when moviegoing will get back to normal.
The studio announced Thursday day-and-date releases for its 17-film slate, which will hit HBO Max for a one-month window that starts the same day they will be available in U.S. theaters.
The studio’s 2021 slate includes projects such as The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Other films include Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In the Heights, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard and Cry Macho.
The unprecedented move is likely to catch theater owners off guard and upsets a model that has been in place for decades. Warner Bros. stresses that these are pandemic-only rules, but once something is broken, can you really put it back together again? This also raises serious concerns about the landscape of moviegoing in 2021. …