You have begun. After the dark epilogue in which we saw evidence such as the premiere of ‘Mulan’ on Disney +, the announcements of new and long-awaited titles landing in streaming and the confirmation of the simultaneity of ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ (Patty Jenkins, 2020 ) in theaters and Platforms on December 18, Warner have decided to officially begin the cultural bleeding that, from the most absolute pessimism, could end the existence of movie theaters as we know them.
As published by The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has decided that all its premieres scheduled for 2021 in the United States will be simultaneous in theaters and on HBO Max. The seventeen titles included, which will be available on the platform for a month from launch day, include ‘The Suicide Squad’ (James Gunn), ‘Matrix 4’ (Lana Wachowski), ‘Dune’ (Denis Villeneuve), Cry Macho ‘ (Clint Eastwood), ‘Godzilla vs. Kong ‘(Adam Wingard),’ Malignant ‘(James Wan),’ Space Jam: New Legends’ (Malcolm D. Lee), ‘Warren File: Forced by the Demon’ (Michael Chaves), ‘The Little Things’ (John Lee Hancock), ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ (Shaka King), ‘Tom and Jerry’ (Tim Story), ‘Mortal Kombat’ (Simon McQuoid), ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ (Taylor Sheridan), ‘In a New York neighborhood ‘(Jon M. Chu),’ Reminiscence ‘(Lisa Joy),’ The Many Saints of Newark ‘(Alan Taylor) and’ King Richard ‘(Reinaldo Marcus Green).
“We are living in an unprecedented time that calls for creative solutions, including this new initiative for Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Ann Sarnoff, President and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group. “Nobody wants movies to appear on the big screen as much as we do. We know that new content is the lifeblood of the show, but we have to balance this with the reality that most cinemas in the US will likely operate at reduced capacity during 2021. With this unique one-year plan we can support our partners in the exhibition with a constant stream of world-class films, while giving viewers who may not have access to theaters, or who are not ready to return to the cinema, the opportunity to see our incredible films 2021. We see it as a mutual benefit for film lovers and exhibitors, and we are very grateful to our film partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances. ”.
According to the company, the measure is adopted only during these times of pandemic and the premieres in theaters will return to normal when everything passes, but to which theaters? Will there be cinemas after a year of confinement and another without exclusive premieres?
“We concluded that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s film business to run for the next 12 months,” adds Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia. “More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 extraordinary movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these movies.”
Exhibitors will, of course, have a new margin of negotiation in terms of percentages with Warner, as already happened when the conditions for the premiere of ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ were announced. There will be those who think that a boycott of the theaters to the brand would be accepted but, in addition to running out of their necessary products, the logic of the system in which we live makes us think that this news is only the first piece of a terrible domino effect that It could cross production companies and borders.
“This hybrid exhibition model allows us to best support our films, creative partners and filmmaking in general in 2021,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Toby Emmerich. “And, as always, we will support all of our premieres with robust and innovative marketing campaigns for their theatrical debuts, while highlighting this unique opportunity to see our films domestically also through HBO Max.”