Oscar Isaac, Keanu Reeves and more are heading to HBO Max, per Warner Brothers latest announcement that they are releasing their entire 2021 film slate theatrically and on the streaming platform on the day a film premieres.
HBO Max subscribers will have immediate access on the day a film premieres, and will be able to stream for free, for 31 days. After 31 days, the film will only be available in theaters. The film slate includes Jon M. Chu’s film adaptation of Lin Manual-Miranda’s Tony Award winning musical, In The Heights, and the Oscar Isaac led reboot of Dune, as well as other highly anticipated blockbusters that include The Matrix 4, The Suicide Squad, and Godzilla vs Kong.
In the press release sent on Thursday, the studio wrote that its “unique, consumer-focused distribution model” was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, particularly in the US, and was called a “unique one-year plan” by the Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, Ann Sarnoff. The announcement comes weeks after Warner Bros decided that DCEU blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984 would premiere simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters on Christmas day.
For theatrical releases, streaming subscribers typically have to wait a minimum of 90 days, the long agreed upon length of time given to theatres to play films exclusively, before a film hits a streaming service. But the pandemic has caused studios to create different avenues to not only get eyes on their films, but to recoup some of the production costs.
“We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances,” Sarnoff added.