As reported by cnet,

HBO Max will stream movies like Matrix 4, Dune and all of Warner Bros. new movies set for theatrical release next year, making them available to watch at no added cost online the same day as their debuts on the big screen. Each film will be on HBO Max, which is $15 a month, for one month, and then the movies will be available exclusively in theaters. 

What Warner Bros. is calling a “hybrid model,” the unprecedented strategy is a response “to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S.” All films will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR on HBO Max. Once the films leave Max, they’ll follow the regular route from theaters to home video like online rental and purchase, DVD and Blu-ray, and eventually streaming again. 

The move comes three weeks before mega-budget movie Wonder Woman 1984 is set to stream on Max the same day it debuts in theaters in the US. Warner Bros. is essentially morphing its Wonder Woman release strategy into its new normal for next year. 

HBO Max is owned by telecom giant AT&T, through its WarnerMedia entertainment unit — which also operates Warner Bros.

Also Thursday, HBO Max confirmed it has killed off its weeklong free trial three weeks before Wonder Woman 1984 drops to stream. That means if you want to stream Wonder Woman or any of these other movies, you either have to pay $15 for at least one month of the service, or you need to figure out if your regular HBO subscription includes a free upgrade to a Max account. 

Other big Warner Bros. movies set to come out next year include expected box-office heavyweights like Godzilla vs. Kong, Hamilton-creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights and The Suicide Squad, James Gunn’s latest take on that DC Comics crew. Retro revivals like Mortal Kombat and Space Jam: A New Legacy are on the slate too. 

Others include The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard and Cry Macho.

Ann Sarnoff, the chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios (where Warner Bros. resides), characterized this as a one-year-only plan.

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions,” said Sarnoff. “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.”

She added that this “hybrid model” is a way to support cinemas with a steady pipeline of films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t comfortable returning to theaters the chance to watch the movies too.  

“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,” she said. 

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Source link: cnet


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