Warner Bros. turned a lot of heads when they announced their intention to release their entire 2021 roster in theaters and on their HBO Max streaming service simultaneously. Initially, these plans were strictly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company has seen films succeed both on the streaming service and at the box office. Godzilla vs. Kong was a huge hit on HBO Max – while also crushing the box office worldwide. The Mid-Budget Mortal Kombat also exceeded expectations in theaters while gaining a lot of attention from family audiences. While the sample is small, it’s a lot of evidence that box office and streaming can be successful at the same time, and it looks like the executives of Warner Bros. plan to build on it.
In a statement to the LA Times, Carolyn Blackwood, one of the CEOs of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said: “I am both happy and relieved because it ended up going almost exactly as we hoped. We” We have filmmakers and talent who are now happy, we have exhibitors who are happy, we have a happy audience, and our partners at HBO Max are excited. “
Currently, the company has around 20 films slated for release in the coming years. About half are said to be released in theaters, while the other half are said to be released exclusively on HBO Max. Notably, their DC roster will reflect this plan as they have five DC movies slated for 2022 (Robert Pattinson’s The Batman, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman 2, and the DC Super animated film. Pets) – all of which will be hitting theaters.
Alternatively, the company has also announced that two of their DC projects – the Batgirl and Blue Beetle films – will be HBO Max exclusives. It’s certainly an interesting idea, especially since superhero movies are usually box office hits.
However, the president of the Warner Bros. Pictures, Toby Emmerich, insists that the idea of releasing films exclusively on the streaming service is indeed a smart plan. He said: “When streamers started… the common wisdom was that“ shows lead to subscription; movies reduce the churn rate. Movies weren’t really the engine to get people to sign up. And I think now, the perception with the film on these streaming services is that they are exceeding their weight in registrations. “So Warner Bros. plans to engage in HBO Max as well as theaters may be. a viable strategy, and only time will tell if it works for them.
Of course, there is precedent for this kind of success. Netflix’s membership has grown steadily for years – and original movies are one of their specialties. While the original series often get a lot of views, Netflix has been producing at least one movie a week for quite some time now, and it seems to be working. Warner Bros. plans a more aggressive approach by releasing some of their films only in theaters, some only on HBO Max, and others at the same time with the Discovery merger pending.
The 2021 plans still have plenty of blockbuster Warner Bros. movies. (like The Suicide Squad) which are out both in theaters and on HBO Max. It’s unclear if the company will continue to use any version of this blueprint for years to come, but it looks like Warner Bros. be ready for anything. They certainly have the blockbuster firepower to try it out. This news comes courtesy of The Los Angeles Times.
Topics: HBO Max, Movie Theaters, Streaming