Warner Bros. To Premiere 17 Movies In 4K On HBO Max
Warner Bros. Pictures Group will premiere its full slate of new movie titles for 2021 in 4K Ultra HD/HDR including an exclusive one-month home distribution window in the United States via its parent AT&T’s HBO Max premium streaming platform.
Concurrent with that, the studio will also release the titles simultaneously to movie theaters in the U.S., the studio said.
The announcement by WarnerMedia Studios chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff and Jason Kilar, WarnerMedia CEO, came shortly after it was announced that the studio’s U.S. premiere of Wonder Woman 1984 would be the first title presented on HBO Max in 4K/HDR starting Christmas Day.
The dual theatrical and home-entertainment release is being implemented as an answer to the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, which has limited audience attendance in theaters and forced the postponement of movie premieres over the course of 2020. It also comes shortly after the successful launch of WarnerMedia parent AT&T’s HBO Max service.
After the initial one-month viewing period on HBO Max in the United States, the new films from the studio will be removed temporarily from the OTT app and continue to be shown in theaters in the United States and other countries, using traditional distribution windows.
All of the scheduled 17 film premieres will be available in 4K and HDR on HBO Max at launch. These are to include: The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho and Matrix 4.
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros Pictures Group,” stated Sarnoff. “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 US will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021. 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.”
“After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months,” added Kilar. “More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”
“This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners and moviegoing in general throughout 2021,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “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.”
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By Greg Tarr
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