Image: Warner Bros.

In a shocking blow to the struggling theater industry, Warner Bros. has announced that all of its 2021 films will be getting a day-and-date release on HBO Max. What this effectively means is that there is zero reason for WB fans with nice AV setups to step foot into a theater next year, as Dune, Matrix 4, Godzilla vs. Kong, and other heavily anticipated blockbusters will be available to stream in the comfort of their homes on day one.

While release dates are subject to change, here’s a list of the movies that HBO Max subscribers can expect to enjoy next year. All of them will be available to stream in 4K Ultra HD and HDR for an exclusive one-month access period concurrent with their domestic release.

  • 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
  • Matrix 4

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Chair and CEO Ann 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 U.S. 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,” said WarnerMedia CEO Jason 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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17 Comments

  1. Except streaming quality is ****.

    The bitrates need to be much much higher.

    A 2 hour 1080p film should clock in at about 25GB, a 2 hour 4k film, at least 50GB.

    If there only were a "tidal" for film, that streamed the native bluray remuxes. I’d actually pay for that.

  2. Nice! Wanda Group can suck a fat one.

    Except streaming quality is ****.

    The bitrates need to be much much higher.

    A 2 hour 1080p film should clock in at about 25GB, a 2 hour 4k film, at least 50GB.

    If there only were a "tidal" for film, that streamed the native bluray remuxes. I’d actually pay for that.

    4K on Netflix is not bad for streaming. I think it is the best in the biz right now. It clocks in at 25 Mbps, which is one-quarter the bitrate of a UHD Blu-ray. I do actually have to get really close to my TV to notice any artifacting or other compression anomalies. I still prefer a UHD Blu-ray, but I am not totally against streaming if HBO Max will be at least at Netflix quality.

  3. Doesn’t matter how pretty the picture is if the writing is trash – unless of course it’s a special effects showcase.
  4. Nice! Wanda Group

    4K on Netflix is not bad for streaming. I think it is the best in the biz right now. It clocks in at 25 Mbps, which is one-quarter the bitrate of a UHD Blu-ray. I do actually have to get really close to my TV to notice any artifacting or other compression anomalies. I still prefer a UHD Blu-ray, but I am not totally against streaming if HBO Max will be at least at Netflix quality.

    Netflix is closer to 15mbps for most content IIRC, AppleTV+ is 25mbps, although their issue is lack of content. Usually the biggest benefit to a BluRay over streaming is the better audio, PQ isn’t really that much different unless you are sitting really close and some darker scenes.

  5. Netflix is closer to 15mbps for most content IIRC, AppleTV+ is 25mbps, although their issue is lack of content. Usually the biggest benefit to a BluRay over streaming is the better audio, PQ isn’t really that much different unless you are sitting really close and some darker scenes.

    Audio is usually around 20 Mbps on UHD Blu-ray in my experience, which would take up all the bandwidth streaming services allocate for the whole stream. I agree it is the one thing streams lack in greatly.

  6. So how much would it cost?
    I assume Tom&Jerry would be free, but no way Matrix or Godzilla vs Kong be less than $30
  7. Considering wonderwoman is free to subscribers i could see these also being free and a valid reason for more people to subscribe to hbomax. Heck if they were being smart they would put a timeline on it. Active sub since before November 2020 wonder woman and all subsequent movie releases are free. Subscribe in December ww is 20 bucks.. and so on. It would encourage long term subscribers.
  8. I didn’t realize HBO Max charged for content beyond the regular subscription fee. (I’ve never used the service)
  9. They are running a deal right now until Jan 15, 6 months for $69.99 ($20 off). https://www.hbomax.com/

    Says WW84 will be available for 31 days from theater release.

    Still no Roku though. They have to get that straightened out.

    I thought Matrix 4 was 2022? And they are only planning on doing this for 2021 movies.

    This article says WW84 will be 4k, but I find zero mention of that on the HBOmax site.

  10. WB must really be desperate to pull this move, and the movie theater chains must be pissed off big time. But I have always said F*ck the movie theaters, especially AMC. But sometimes companies have to take chances to survive / prosper, and this is a bold move.

    I am all for 1st run movies at home on my new 65" TV. I know some people just "have" to have the movie theater experience… but how many of those are people who just want to get out of the house / away from screaming kids, etc.

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