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Warner Bros will debut all its movie releases next year on the HBO Max streaming service at the same time as their theatrical release dates, reports Variety.

hbomax1.jpeg

Like "Wonder Woman 1984," which lands on HBO Max for Christmas the same time as it debuts in theaters, the films that Warner Bros plans to release in 2021 will be available to HBO Max subscribers for 31 days.

The list of 17 movies includes "The Matrix 4" and Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" remake, Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical adaptation of "In the Heights," the "Sopranos" prequel "The Many Saints of Newark," and "The Suicide Squad."

After the one-month mark, those movies will continue to play in theaters until they reach the traditional home entertainment frame, after which people will be able to rent them through online platforms like Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.

WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff referred to the model as a "unique one-year plan." Executives at the company say the initiative isn't expected to continue beyond 2021, but is being considered a temporary solution in response to the ongoing global heath crisis.

The decision highlights the hardship facing movie theaters and the increasing importance of streaming services in the midst of the pandemic, and upends the longstanding business model in the commercial cinema industry of observing a significant period of theatrical exclusivity.

Theater chains usually want to attract audiences for as long as possible before they have the option to stream movies at home, with some requiring a 90-day period of exclusivity before movies go to home streaming services.

It remains unclear whether the 17 movies will still be eligible for awards. The traditional theatrical release plan is a proven route to eligibility, since film awards typically require a theatrical run for their candidates.

HBO Max is owned by Warner Bros' ultimate parent company, AT&T. The service costs $14.99 and is available as a native app on the ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ HD and ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ 4K, but second and third-generation ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ owners need to AirPlay HBO Max content from an iOS device to the TV to watch. HBO Max is only available in the U.S., so international markets won't be affected.

Article Link: Warner Bros 2021 Movies to Debut in Theater and on HBO Max at Same Time
 

Mercifull

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Sep 24, 2012
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It'll be interesting how that works out for the HBO-Sky partnership here in the UK. We do not have HBO Max/Go/Whatever over here because Sky has a special deal for the TV programmes to air on the Sky Atlantic Channel. On top of that during the pandemic, there has been an increasing number of "Sky Original" movies which probably would have had theatrical releases.
 
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laurieballard

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Apr 12, 2016
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At least it gives people the choice, getting to the Cinema these days is difficult with a new baby so it helps to have the option to watch them at home.

I do like the Cinema but I think its going to take a long time before everyone is comfortable sitting next to other people, even once it becomes 'safe' to do so.
 
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thisisnotmyname

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Oct 22, 2014
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Kilar is taking a huge risk here, trying to convert piles of theatrical release cash into subscribers. Opportunity cost for not holding back WW84 is huge, particularly with vaccine approvals imminent.

Edit: oops, no idea why I threw Plepler in there, I meant Kilar. Guess I'm living in the past (someone could say that about my whole comment I'm sure :p )
 
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Reason077

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Aug 14, 2007
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Films not being in the cinema makes them kinda disposable, I miss going to the cinema

Yeah. Certainly bad news for cinemas who are being delt a double blow - by both the pandemic and now studios turning their backs on them right when they will be trying to recover.

Studios may end up regretting it, though. In the long run, will streaming revenue be enough to make up for what is lost from cinemas? In general, I don’t think customers are willing to pay quite as much for streaming content as they do for cinema tickets. Not the same experience.
 
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laurieballard

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Apr 12, 2016
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It'll be interesting how that works out for the HBO-Sky partnership here in the UK. We do not have HBO Max/Go/Whatever over here because Sky has a special deal for the TV programmes to air on the Sky Atlantic Channel. On top of that during the pandemic, there has been an increasing number of "Sky Original" movies which probably would have had theatrical releases such as The Hurricane Heist, Anon, Final Score and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.

This comment might get removed but unless companies make it easier to get services in the UK, they will find more people move towards the dodgy 'IPTV' type services where you can get virtually everything for a small payment each year.
 
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Reason077

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It'll be interesting how that works out for the HBO-Sky partnership here in the UK. We do not have HBO Max/Go/Whatever over here because Sky has a special deal for the TV programmes to air on the Sky Atlantic Channel. On top of that during the pandemic, there has been an increasing number of "Sky Original" movies which probably would have had theatrical releases such as The Hurricane Heist, Anon, Final Score and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.

A lot of HBO content is carried on the Now TV and Sky Go apps in the UK.

That said, I ditched my Now TV subscription a while ago because the experience on Mac was so awful. Didn’t work though browser and required a dodgy, glitchy app that drained battery like a pig. Maybe it’s gotten better?

(By the way: "Anon" and "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" debuted on streaming services in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Well before the pandemic! And the later was a Netflix original.)
 
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Reason077

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I do like the Cinema but I think its going to take a long time before everyone is comfortable sitting next to other people, even once it becomes 'safe' to do so.

The cinema experience has actually been great lately. Easy to get good seats and guaranteed not to have anyone sitting next to you. Plenty of space to stretch out and get comfortable 😉

I also think it’s important to support cinemas during this difficult time. Many of them might not survive, unfortunately.
 
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Mitthrawnuruodo

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Mercifull

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Sep 24, 2012
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A lot of HBO content is carried on the Now TV and Sky Go apps in the UK.

That said, I ditched my Now TV subscription a while ago because the experience on Mac was so awful. Didn’t work though browser and required a dodgy, glitchy app that drained battery like a pig. Maybe it’s gotten better?

(By the way: "Anon" and "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" debuted on streaming services in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Well before the pandemic! And the later was a Netflix original.)
I've updated my post to remove those examples but my point stands. There's been a lot more "original" movies on Sky lately. I put "original" in quotation marks because the movies have also had, in some cases, simultaneous theatrical releases, or been carried on other streaming services in other countries. It's the same situation with shows from Channel 4 in the UK being carried on Netflix internationally as "Netflix originals".
 
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McScooby

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Weeeeeell, that might change soon.

It seems HBO Max will replace HBO Nordic in all Nordic countries and roll out in the rest of Europe in the second half of 2021: https://www.dinside.no/mobil/hbo-max-kommer-til-norge/73141457 (Norwegian article)
I'm guessing that Sky/NowTV carry the existing HBO programming on Sky Atlantic due to previously signed contracts pre the sale to AT&T.
Anything new for the platform will be fair game & AT&T will be looking to exit existing deals and go it alone with their own app/model, that's what I'd be doing, cutting out the middle man and taking all the profits.
 
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Caliber26

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Sep 25, 2009
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Studios will still depend on theaters for big blockbuster films. They know they need these theaters so I don’t believe theaters are going anywhere because of how important they are to the success of this type of release.

Studios won‘t be able to make Star Wars or Avengers money — or even justify the budgets the came with these type of films — just from streaming. This is merely a temporary fix because losing money on big movies just isn’t a longterm business plan.

I could see smaller films getting released in theaters and on streaming platforms simultaneously, while the tentpole films return to theatrical exclusivity after the pandemic is over.
 
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Mercifull

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Sep 24, 2012
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I'm guessing that Sky/NowTV carry the existing HBO programming on Sky Atlantic due to previously signed contracts pre the sale to AT&T.
Anything new for the platform will be fair game & AT&T will be looking to exit existing deals and go it alone with their own app/model, that's what I'd be doing, cutting out the middle man and taking all the profits.
It's certainly what Disney is doing for D+, once old deals are finished with then its straight to D+ (see example Season 6 and 7 of SHIELD). Sky is a monster in the UK though and there's still a ton of Disney content on there, including the more recent Pixar stuff. The real test will be at Christmas when Soul premieres on D+... will Sky carry it too?
 
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contacos

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Nov 11, 2020
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Weeeeeell, that might change soon.

It seems HBO Max will replace HBO Nordic in all Nordic countries and roll out in the rest of Europe in the second half of 2021: https://www.dinside.no/mobil/hbo-max-kommer-til-norge/73141457 (Norwegian article)
I don't think this is going to be the case for countries like the UK and Germany, where SKY is available. In fact, they just renewed their exclusivity contract with HBO / Warner earlier this year.

This is going to lead to a lot of piracy because on one hand, it will be shown at the cinema* but due to COVID-19 a lot of countries have their theatre shut down for the foreseeable future, while it will end up online from a HBO Max stream.
 
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FightTheFuture

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This will not be temporary solution. Theaters are dead, Streaming platforms are the winners.
People are social creatures. There’s a reason live concerts and sports still sell out stadiums. Many theater chains will die from this pandemic but there will be a resurgence when it’s safe again.
 
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Marshall73

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Weeeeeell, that might change soon.

It seems HBO Max will replace HBO Nordic in all Nordic countries and roll out in the rest of Europe in the second half of 2021: https://www.dinside.no/mobil/hbo-max-kommer-til-norge/73141457 (Norwegian article)

HBO have a deal with Sky which covers the UK, Germany and Italy which ends in 2024 so they won’t be launching in any of those countries before then. Of course, it won’t really matter as I’m sure there will be UHD rips available day one, same as there are now for all of the popular Disney shows.
 
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Apple_Robert

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This will not be temporary solution. Theaters are dead, Streaming platforms are the winners.
I think you are right. And instead of paying high prices for the cinema, we get to do the same thing streaming. I have a HBO Max subscription for which I pay $5 a month for. I will use that to watch new releases or wait until it hits Apple’s rental for $1.00, or Amazon etc.
 
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newyorksole

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Thankful to be using my parents FiOS subscription for HBO Max and a few other streaming services.

I REALLY need to invest in a good sound bar / sound system for my TV so I can really enjoy these movies and any movie.
 
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connectcreative

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Aug 8, 2017
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HBO / Warner should have the balls to say it like it is - what's happening to cinemas is exactly the same as what happened to music stores. Everyone moaned when iTunes arrived and the same is happening now. This isn't temporary by any means and they know it.
 
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