You will have the option of watching The Matrix 4, The Suicide Squad and Dune in your own home rather than in theaters, Warner Bros. announced today.
The studio says that it’s bringing 17 films slated for a 2021 release date to HBO Max the same day that they’re planning to release in theaters.
Those 17 films, according to The Hollywood Reporter, includes The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Other films include Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard and Cry Macho.
The films will be available for 30 days on the service, alongside other content on HBO and HBO Max originals, though Warner Bros. did not explicitly state that they will be available at no extra cost – only that they’ll be on the streaming service.
So, no trip to the theaters then?
The move doesn’t discourage people from going to theaters, but rather allows people to have the option of where they want to see these films. At least, that’s according to Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group.
“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,” Sarnoff told The Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
What Sarnoff’s statements tell us is that Warner Bros. is only trying this out for a one-year period and could potentially revert back to the old methods in 12 month’s time. Still, it’s a win-win for audiences who can now decide where and when to watch these films, and won’t miss out on any big blockbusters just because their theaters are still under lockdown restrictions.