Monday, December 7, 2020

Monday's Headlines | HBO Max and Warner Bros. Movie Release Plan

The entertainment business was stunned to learn WarnerMedia's plans to release their entire slate of 2021 films — including The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and much more — in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day. 

Cynical ideas led people to believe this will cause the death of traditional movie theaters while others thought it was an attempt to give the new streaming service a huge boost. And while those motivations aren't unlikely, HBO Max and WarnerMedia execs still had to do a lot of convincing to their bosses at AT&T.

A new report from Bloomberg details WarnerMedia boss Jason Kilar's plot to make this unprecedented move, which received much resistance internally and from parent company AT&T. But frequent collaborator Jason Blum said it was a bold move that could pay off in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"HBO Max just laid down the gauntlet -- there’s no other way to say it," said Blum. "If you want to keep up with pop culture, you will want to see those movies and subscribe to HBO Max."

According to the report, Hollywood was shocked by the move. This left many executives, filmmakers, actors, crew members, and everyone down the line to receive a smaller paycheck without the promise of typical box office returns. However, with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, there's no telling when any of these films will get the opportunity to premiere in theaters.