Warner Bros. has made a drastic shift to its 2021 theatrical lineup.
The movie studio announced on Thursday it would debut its entire slate of films for next year both in theaters and on its streaming platform, HBO Max.
The move comes after the studio made plans to release Wonder Woman 1984 in both theaters and on the streaming site after consistent delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The list of films that will now follow Wonder Woman's path includes The Matrix 4, Dune, the Sopranos movie prequel The Many Saints of Newark and Lin-Manuel Miranda's movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights.
Other films on this new release trajectory include Denzel Washington's upcoming thriller The Little Things, the live-action remake Tom and Jerry, as well as Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Space Jam: A New Legacy and the sports drama King Richard, about the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, and starring Will Smith.
Warner Bros.' strategy with its 2021 film slate is the same as its Wonder Woman 1984: all the films released next year will be available to HBO Max subscribers exclusively for one month. After one month, the newly released films will leave the platform and continue to be available in movie theaters in the U.S. and internationally.
WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said in a statement released on Thursday that it was a "unique one-year plan."
"We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group," said 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," she said. "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."
Wonder Woman 1984's debut on HBO Max comes as Warner Bros. released Christopher Nolan's Tenet in September amid slow reopenings of movie theaters across the U.S. Tenet earned $20 million in its opening Labor Day weekend.
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