All Warner Brothers’ 2021 movies (Dune, Matrix 4, etc) premiering on HBO Max & theaters the same day
This year has been a wash for much of the entertainment industry thanks to coronavirus; on the movies front, almost every major Hollywood release that was planned for 2020 was postponed till 2021, with smaller films (and a few big one, like Mulan) coming to streaming the same day as their theatrical releases. Warner Brothers announced a few weeks ago that Wonder Woman 1984, which was originally due out in June, will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25. Warner Brothers has now announced that their entire 2021 slate -- including Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of sci-fi classic Dune, The Matrix 4, The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Judas and the Black Messiah, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, and more -- will follow suit, hitting HBO Max the same day movies are released in theaters, at no extra cost to subscribers.
One caveat: they'll only be available for a month after the premiere date, then you'll only be able to see them in theaters (where available) and then VOD. Still, that's pretty huge, and a big selling point for HBO Max that already has an enviably robust catalog of streaming content. It's also a genie that might not be able to be put back in the bottle once COVID is under control. Even more than with the live music industry, the moviegoing experience feels like it has been irrevocably changed by the pandemic, speeding an already present trend out of the theaters and into the home.
Another plus for home viewers: this news will likely bring an end to HBO Max and Roku's standoff sooner than later.