The movie theater industry has arrived at a never-before-seen crossroads. In order to adapt to the shuttering of screening rooms across the country due to COVID-19, Warner Bros. shared on Thursday that all of its 17 major movies in 2021 will be released on both HBO Max and in theaters.
The lineup includes highly-anticipated titles like 'The Suicide Squad' starring Margot Robbie and Idris Elba, 'The Matrix 4,' 'Godzilla vs. Kong,' 'Tom & Jerry' and the LeBron-led 'Space Jam: A New Legacy.'
How it'll work: On each respective release date, the movies will hit theaters as planned and then HBO Max for a 31-day window before vanishing. WB recently made the decision to take the same approach with 'Wonder Woman 1984,' dropping on Christmas Day. It's worth noting that HBO Max is only available in the U.S., so WB will go about business as usual overseas.
Other flicks affected are 'Dune,' 'Little Things,' 'Mortal Kombat,' 'Judas and the Black Messiah,' 'Those Who Wish Me Dead,' 'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,' 'In The Heights,' 'Reminiscence,' 'Malignant,' 'The Many Saints of Newark,' 'King Richard' and 'Cry Macho.'
Ann Sarnoff, CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said in a statement, "No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021."
There's more good news for HBO Max subscribers. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar snuck an update about the 'Game of Thrones' prequel series, 'House of the Dragon,' in a blog post regarding this main announcement.
Fire! He noted that "principal photography" for the show is set to begin in a few months and unveiled the first look at two mighty dragons.