Warner Bros. is planning to return to its original theatrical big movie release strategy in 2022. Currently, the studio has a deal with HBO Max to release all its films on the streamer the same day it comes out in theaters.
Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia confirms with Recode that Warner Bros. is set on going back to the old model of theatrical premieres for its major films, and will be releasing the movies at a later date on HBO Max.
In 2021, all theatrical releases of Warner Bros. films were made available on HBO Max to subscribers for 30 days. Subscribers initially have a month to watch large blockbusters including Mortal Kombat, Godzilla vs. Kong, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Dune and The Matrix 4, all at no extra cost. This model will end before audiences can catch the highly anticipated The Batman, slated to arrive in theaters in March 2022.
The announcement comes as no surprise as WarnerMedia expects to be back to normal in the near future as vaccine programs begin rolling out. The success of Godzilla vs. Kong shows signs that the film industry is expected to bounce back. Godzilla vs. Kong recently pulled in $50 million USD on its domestic opening just last weekend.
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