In what can only be described as a shocking turn of events, Warner Bros. has announced it will release its 2021 slate of movies in theaters and on HBOMax simultaneously. This was already the plan for the studio’s release of Wonder Woman 1984 later this month. WarnerMedia Studios Network Group chair and CEO Anna Sarnoff states this is a temporary solution.
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” Sarnoff said in a statement, adding that “no one wants films back on the big screen more than we do.”
The question becomes, what is the future of movie theaters? Warner Bros may be intending to use the hybrid releases as a stopgap, but it will ultimately depend on audiences. Once movie fans are given the option to watch major first run releases from the comfort of their own homes, what will they think? There are also circumstances involving a Covid-19 vaccine that studios not only have to consider, but have no control over.
Some of the movies scheduled to be released from Warner Bros next year include Dune, The Matrix 4, and The Suicide Squad.
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