HBO Max will broadcast all movies on Matrix 4, Dune, 2021 Warner Bros. on the same day as movie theaters

HBO Max launched in May and tried to achieve the same grip as Disney Plus.

Angela Lang / CNET

HBO Max will be broadcasting movies like Matrix 4, Dune, and all the new Warner Bros. movies released for theatrical release next year, so they can be viewed online at no extra cost, on the same day as the big screen. All movies will continue HBO Max, which costs $ 15 a month, for a month, and then the movies leave the streaming service so they end up in theaters only.

The unprecedented move came three weeks before the two-character Warner Bros. film Wonder Woman 1984 would start on Max the same day it premiered in American cinemas. Warner Bros. is essentially transforming Wonder Woman’s spending strategy into a new normal for next year. HBO Max is owned by telecommunications giant AT&T, through WarnerMedia’s entertainment unit, which also operates the Warner Bros. studio.

HBO Max executives have rejected the idea that this dramatic change in HBO Max’s proposal for streaming customers would affect service ongoing negotiations with Roku. More than seven months since departure, HBO Max and Roku have not reached an agreement, which means that Roku customers still can’t access Max’s application. Roku’s streaming devices are the most popular devices in the country for streaming videos on television.

“I don’t think today’s announcement would change anything dramatically,” in HBO’s negotiations with Max Roche to conclude a distribution agreement, ”Andy Forssell, HBO Max’s high-tech executive, said in a Thursday interview. “We both already had very strong demands to find a way to work together. So we have to do that and we will make it happen.”

WarnerMedia’s Thursday decision is the latest in a series of titanic changes in the film’s extraordinary circumstances through films coronavirus pandemic. Studios and cinemas experimented with new publishing strategies that were unthinkable a year ago, especially for the epic most expensive movies, e.g. Wonder woman, Dune and The Matrix. But Warner Bros. ’decision to release the entire year of the film online in this“ day-to-day ”model, when the films debut simultaneously on the Internet and in movie theaters, is the most seismic change.

Warner Bros. calls this approach a “hybrid model,” and says the strategy is a response to a pandemic, especially in the United States. All movies will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR formats on HBO Max. As soon as the movies leave Max, they follow the usual path from theaters to home viewing, such as renting and shopping online, DVD and Blu-ray, and finally watching TV and streaming.

Also on Thursday HBO Max has confirmed that it has killed the standard week of free trial. That means you have to pay $ 15 for at least a month of service to broadcast Wonder Woman or any of their other movies, or find out if your standard HBO subscription includes a free upgrade to a Max account. Action hunters can sniff out other offers that offer HBO Max for free for a short time as a promotion with another purchase.

Other major films by Warner Bros. coming out next year include the expected box office heavyweights like Godzilla vs. Kong, Hamilton’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda in The High and The suicide squad, James Gunn’s latest recording on the DC Comics crew. Retro awakenings like Mortal Kombat and Space Jam: New Legacy are also on the board.

The pipeline also includes the little things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, those who long for the dead, The Enchantment: The Devil Made Me Remember, Malicious, Many Saints of Newark, King Richard and Cry Macho .

Only in 2021?

Ann Sarnoff, president and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios (where Warner Bros. resides), described this as a one-year plan only.

“We are living in unprecedented times that require creative solutions,” Sarnoff said in a statement. “No one wants films to return to the big screen better than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of a theatrical exhibition, but we need to balance that with the reality that most theaters in the United States are likely to decline in 2021. will operate at capacity. ”

But executives say it’s impossible to speculate around or after 2022, raising some uncertainty about whether Warner Bros. will only start the traditional way of showing movies in cinemas after next year.

“No one knows what will happen in 2022 or 2023,” said Forssell, executive vice president and general manager of WarnerMedia’s direct consumer products. Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia’s entire unit, reiterated that attitude on Thursday in an interview with several stores, saying the company is focusing on “here and now” and “didn’t spend a brain cell on what the world is like. 2022.”

Sarnoff noted that this “hybrid model” is one way to support cinemas, film fans, and talent. Theaters continue to receive steady film while also providing cinematographers who may not have access to theaters. or it is not convenient to return to the theaters, the opportunity to watch a movie.

But the share of cinema chains plummeted on Thursday after the news. During the trading period on Friday, shares of AMC fell by 15% and shares of Cinemark by 20% compared to the opening prices on Thursday morning before the news.

The AMC said on Friday it would start a fight. “Clearly, Warner Media intends to sacrifice a significant portion of the profitability of its film studio division, as well as its production partners and filmmakers, to support the launch of HBO Max,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.. “As for AMC, we will do everything we can to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense. We are aggressively following the economic conditions that preserve our business.”

But Kilar said in a statement on Thursday that the company’s content is “extremely valuable unless it sits on a shelf that no one sees.”

“After considering all the options available and the expected state of movie watching in 2021, we concluded that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate over the next 12 months,” he said. “More importantly, we plan to give consumers 17 notable films throughout the year, giving them choice and power to decide how they want to enjoy these films.”

Unthinkable a year ago

The coronavirus epidemic has closed cinemas around the world, forcing studios all over the board to delay high-budget movies for months and years, not seeing the certainty of when theaters can reopen or when audiences feel comfortable windowless, closed. sitting in rooms for hours. Now Hollywood has made unprecedented changes in film publishing, norms that have been sacred for decades. Although different studios take a different approach, they all make significant mistakes from the rigid rules that new movies are usually only kept in cinemas for 75 days or more.

HBO Max is set to take place on December 25, Wonder Woman 1984 is the largest film in the world to be broadcast live by any studio.

But before that, Universal released a sequel to the DreamWorks Animation Trolls World Tour as an online rental in April, and Disney released Mulan’s live-action remake on Disney Plus in September. The main difference is that both movies were extra cost to watch online. These were available in a model known as premium video on demand, a special early online release that requires customers to pay a high price for obtaining a home viewing title.

Universal, which also makes films on the Fast & Furious and Jurassic World franchises, was already there striking stores with larger movie chains which allow the company to dramatically shorten the pool of its films exclusively in theaters. Universal films from the naming studio, DreamWorks Animation and Focus Features, will be available for online rentals 17 days after their big-screen premiere.

Similar to Warner Bros. The latest hybrid strategy, Disney, has swapped a movie about theatrical appearances for Disney Plus originals, notably Hamilton in July and the upcoming Pixar movie, Soul, which falls on December 25th. But none of the films came close to Wonder Woman’s 1984 budget of $ 200 million, and no studio had made nearly as much a commitment to releasing a full-year palette of films online with theaters one day at no extra cost.

Until recently, studios mostly postponed their most expensive franchise films to next year or later, hoping for a future when cinemas reopen and audiences feel comfortable crowded into theaters. Many of us, it seems, the studios also accept that normal life will not return soon.

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