Covid-19 has been, for the most part, the cunt of all viruses for 2020. And whilst the very nature of cinemas have always seemed to teeter-totter on the edge of the proverbial abyss, it seems the pandemic has put cinemas in their death throes. And sure what may be the smartest of moves, and equally the death blow to cinema as we know it, Warner Bros Pictures has announced its plans to release its entire 2021 film slate on streaming service HBO Max.
So if you were thinking Wonder Woman 1984, Spawn and Snyder’s Justice League was the end of the little straight-to-streaming experiment, well, you’d be wrong. Films like Dune, Matrix 4 and more are set to appear via the streaming service.
Albeit, they will be premiering simultaneously with the premiere in cinemas that are open, but you can understand the frustration of leaders in the cinema trade finding great fault with this. As who is going to risk a pandemic when they can buy cheaper, better snacks and enjoy a newly released movie in the comfort and safety of their homes?
As for the more notable films set to make appearance on HBO Max, check out what to expect in 2021:
|Mortal Kombat||Jan 15|
|The Little Things||Jan 29|
|Tom and Jerry||Mar 5|
|The Many Saints of Newark||Mar 12|
|Godzilla vs. Kong||May 21|
|The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It||Jun 4|
|In the Heights||Jun 18|
|Space Jam: A New Legacy||Jul 16|
|The Suicide Squad||Aug 6|
|King Richard||Nov 19|
|Matrix 4||Dec 22|
|Judas and the Black Messiah||TBA|
|Those Who Wish Me Dead||TBA|
Is the WB Pictures roster dump on HBO Max enough for you to to subscribe? Is this the future of film. Is AMC and other cinema organisation right in their indignation at WB Pictures move to release films via streaming simultaneously with cinema releases? Just in case you didn’t see their response:
These coronavirus-impacted times are uncharted waters for all of us, which is why AMC signed on to an HBO Max exception to customary practices for one film only, Wonder Woman 1984, being released by Warner Brothers at Christmas when the pandemic appears that it will be at its height. However, Warner now hopes to do this for all their 2021 theatrical movies, despite the likelihood that with vaccines right around the corner the theatre business is expected to recover.
Clearly, Warner Media intends to sacrifice a considerable portion of the profitability of its movie studio division, and that of its production partners and filmmakers, to subsidize its HBO Max start up. As for AMC, we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense. We will aggressively pursue economic terms that preserve our business. We have already commenced an immediate and urgent dialogue with the leadership of Warner on this subject.
As this issue gets sorted out, we are nonetheless encouraged that vaccines protecting society at large against the coronavirus are very much at hand. So, it is our expectation that moviegoers soon will be able once again to delight in coming to our theatres without any worry — viewing the world’s best movies safely in our big seats, with our big sound and on our big screens.