Image: Warner Bros.

The current year has been a interesting one for Warner Bros. fans in that all of the studio’s major theatrical releases could be enjoyed day-and-date in the comfort of one’s home via HBO Max, but that luxury is definitely ending in 2022.

This is according to Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff, who spoke at a conference hosted by Bloomberg yesterday and confirmed that the company’s strategy of releasing movies in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously won’t be renewed for the coming year. This is despite whatever effect coronavirus might have on the theatrical business in 2022.

“Have we thought about going back to day and date?,” Sarnoff asked. “Sure, we thought about it, but we have made our commitments to the theaters to the agents to the talent. Everyone was hoping we would be on the other side of the pandemic by now.”

The implication is that Warner Bros. fans who have remained shy of the cinema will have to wait at least a couple of months before being able to experience its biggest upcoming hits. These would include Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which Sarnoff hopes will have the power to lure people into theaters.

“For us to really get back in full swing we need the broader spectrum of demographics and tastes,” Sarnoff said, noting that superhero movies seem to be the top choice for driving ticket sales. “As a whole we are hoping by next spring when we have The Batman release, that we will have much more full attendance.”

The Matrix Resurrections, HBO Max’s final day-and-date feature of the year, will be released on December 22 for users who are subscribed to the streaming service’s ad-free plan. It costs $14.99 per month.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. They lost this round. People realized during lockdown that waiting for movies is not that bad. They won’t ever see pre 2020 numbers in theaters no matter what.

  2. That’s o.k. WB. I’ve no plans of returning to the theater . . .ever. With the HT setup I’ve been lucky enough to put together over the years I’m plenty happy to wait until I either have the physical copy or stream it. Whichever comes first doesn’t matter much to me anyway and Batman is a long ways from something I care about after all the faces that’ve been under that cowl.

  3. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 45232, member: 1298″]
    They lost this round. People realized during lockdown that waiting for movies is not that bad. They won’t ever see pre 2020 numbers in theaters no matter what.
    I hope so – I would love to see more stuff come to streaming.

    I don’t want theaters to die out entirely, I think they do have a place. I just get tired of them having the monopoly on new releases.

  4. Stick a fork in traditional theaters. As the next-gen crowds, social media, gaming, etc. expand, the less need for theaters.

    Theaters will never have that growth again and this lockdown (still happening strongly in many regions around the world) has awakened the WISE consumers and there’s always another chance for a covid 3.0+ in the future.

    I suspect major theater closures very soon and the only ones that manage to stay open are the higher profit ones in metro cities, etc.

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