Warner Bros. has announced that it’s releasing its entire 2021 slate of movies simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max on the same day.
The company decided to bypass exclusive theatrical distribution windows in response to COVID-19, which has forced most movie theatres in the U.S. to close.
As a result, films like The Matrix 4, Dune, The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Godzilla vs. Kong, Tom & Jerry, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, and more will be placed on HBO Max on the same day of each film’s respective theatrical release.
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff explains. “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 theatres in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”
Under the new plan, films will be available to stream on HBO Max for 30 days. After that, each film will be removed from the platform and will continue screening in theatres.