The ability to enjoy Warner Bros.’ newest blockbusters on HBO Max on day one is a privilege that won’t extend beyond 2021. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar revealed the disappointing news in an interview with Vox’s Recode this week, confirming that it would be “very fair to say” that DC Films and other major productions will go exclusively to theaters first before reaching other channels such as AT&T’s streaming service. The final film that will launch simultaneously in theaters and HBO Max appears to be The Matrix 4, which is scheduled for release on December 22, 2021.
[…] until this week, WarnerMedia had yet to confirm it was moving back to some version of its pre-pandemic business plan. It’s another indicator that while big media companies are eager to build up their new streaming services, they still want to keep the traditional movie business running for a while longer. While companies like WarnerMedia, Disney, Comcast, and ViacomCBS have all experimented with streaming first-run movies while theaters were closed during the pandemic, they have all said they want their biggest movies back in theaters.