Looks like going to the cinema will not be the same anymore. In a curious move, Warner Bros. has just announced that their entire 2021 film library will release simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Not just that, this isn’t a Premier Access situation as you get all these films for free on release. Now, this will kick-off with December’s Wonder Woman 1984 release. That means you’ll be able to watch The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Mortal Kombat, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Matrix 4, and so many more films as a subscriber to HBO Max. It is crazy that they are pulling off this move for the entire year. Most of us suspected they would test the waters with WW84‘s release later this month. Yet, they decided to define the future of films right now and didn’t waste any time to announce it with the trailer below.
I got you something ✨nice✨ this year:
🎁 The biggest movie premieres
🎁 In theaters and on HBO Max the exact same day
🎁 Beginning December 25 with #WonderWoman1984#HBOMax #WBPictures https://t.co/BZgFFRrrg2 pic.twitter.com/J2KBdWd9Tf
— HBO Max (@hbomax) December 3, 2020
Now, this is going to change the market as we know. Cinemas are already on the verge of going into bankruptcy. Companies tested out VOD solutions earlier this year, but many hoped that everything would return to some form of normalcy by the end of the year. Well, it doesn’t look like it’ll be anytime soon, so WB was the first to just go with where the market is developing. This move makes sense, as even if the current pandemic comes to an end, people might still be quite nervous about returning to their usual daily activities. As such, it is uncertain if cinemas will be running at full capacity again once lockdown measures are a thing of the past. It’ll be interesting to see how other production companies will react. Disney+ isn’t directly comparable to HBO Max, so they might have to go down a very different route.