Warner Bros. has made a game-changing announcement regarding its 2021 slate of movies, revealing that every single film will simultaneously debut in theaters and on HBO Max. This impacts a number of high-profile films, including Dune, Space Jam: A New Legacy, the fourth Matrix film and The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It. In a press release, Ann Sarnoff — Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group — spoke about the movie, stating, "We're living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group."
Sarnoff went on to say, "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 continued, "With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. 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."
I got you something ✨nice✨ this year:— HBO Max (@hbomax) December 3, 2020
🎁 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
Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich also issued a statement, saying, "This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners and moviegoing in general throughout 2021. We have a fantastic, wide ranging slate of titles from talented and visionary filmmakers next year, and we’re excited to be able get these movies in front of audiences around the world. And, as always, we’ll support all of our releases with innovative and robust marketing campaigns for their theatrical debuts, while highlighting this unique opportunity to see our films domestically via HBO Max as well."
Other films that will debut on HBO Max include The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, In The Heights, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, and Cry Macho. While many of these movies do have scheduled release dates, it is possible that those could be shifted around. The first movie up to be released on HBO Max is Wonder Woman 1984, which will debut on Christmas Day.