The major Hollywood film studio Warner Bros. has announced a revolution in film distribution: in 2021, planned 17 film premieres such as Wonder Woman 1984, Tom & Jerry, Mortal Combat, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong and The Matrix 4 are to be launched simultaneously in the cinemas and on Warner&s own streaming service HBO Max for one month in the USA.
Warner Bros. film premieres 2021
After this month, the films will disappear from HBO Max (which can only be subscribed to in the USA) and the usual rules of cinema exploitation will apply again - in the USA and abroad. This hybrid model is Warner Bros.&s answer to the problems caused by the COVID19 pandemic for film studios that are unable to release films in the usual way due to temporary closures or access restrictions. Disney, among others, had already made movie premieres online this year because cinemas were not available for premieres, especially at the peak of the pandemic.
Although there has been loud protest from the cinemas, for whom film premieres - especially those of big blockbusters - are extremely important sources of income, but due to the ongoing problems, especially in those countries that have not been able to control the virus - unlike, for example, many Asian countries as well as New Zealand and Australia with their Zero COVID strategy - the cinemas can only watch helplessly as the once iron-clad evaluation rules are unilaterally changed by the film studios.
How much the parallel online premiere of HBO Max in the USA will affect box office sales will become apparent next year. With this move, Warner Bros. is relying entirely on the growth of its still young streaming service HBO Max (which currently has only 8.9 million subscribers) and wants to strengthen it against the new competition from Disney and the old ones from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video - at the expense of cinema exploitation.
One can assume that Warner Bros. has calculated the costs of this train well - i.e. the loss due to the no longer exclusive cinema exploitation of its film premieres has been offset against the income from new subscribers. And apparently does not hope for a quick recovery of the American cinema market through a speedy re-normalization of everyday life by Vaccine.
The further waiting and postponement of premieres - as happened for example with Christopher Nolan&s Tenet for a very long time - was apparently no longer an option due to the high costs of film productions and the resulting backlog of films. Now it will be interesting to see how the other film studios and the big cinema chains react.(Thanks to funless)