HBO Max got off to a lukewarm launch when it debuted in May, but the Netflix competitor is about to get a big boost from Warner Bros., which has announced that it will release all 17 of its theatrical films slated for 2021 on the streaming service the same day that they arrive in theaters.
Warner Bros. was just testing the waters when they announced a similar plan for Wonder Woman 1984 last month. The latest DC Comics blockbuster will arrive in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas day, and it will be a prelude for the year to come.
According to Variety, the films will each be available on HBO Max for 31 days after their release date. Theaters can still show the movies past that point, but they won’t return to home entertainment platforms until the traditional home entertainment release timeframe.
The full list of films includes:
Mortal Kombat – Jan 15The Little Things – Jan 29Tom and Jerry – Mar 5The Many Saints of Newark – Mar 12Reminiscence – Apr 16Godzilla vs. Kong – May 21The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – Jun 4In the Heights – Jun 18Space Jam: A New Legacy – Jul 16The Suicide Squad – Aug 6Dune – Oct 1Elvis – Nov 5King Richard – Nov 19Matrix 4 – Dec 22Judas and the Black Messiah – TBAMalignant – TBAThose Who Wish Me Dead – TBA
The announcement highlights the struggles facing movie theaters amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff called it a “unique one-year plan” to deal with the reality that “most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”
More than 60% of U.S. theaters have closed down again, according to Variety. Regal Cinemas closed all U.S. locations that had previously reopened in October, including Syracuse’s Destiny USA location.
HBO Max is only available in the U.S., but the international market, including China and Japan, has rebounded while U.S. theaters continue to struggle.
How much does HBO Max cost?
HBO Max costs $14.99 per month. Right now, new users can sign up for 6 months of the service and get a 20% discount for $69.99.
HBO Max has a growing library of original HBO series such as “Watchmen,” “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld.” They are also the home of licensed series such as “Rick And Morty,” “Sesame Street” and “Doctor Who.”
HBO Max, like the HBO channel, is home to some of the most popular film releases, with a list of content that updates regularly.