You may recall how in late 2020, Warner Bros. announced that they'd be releasing their films in cinemas and on their streaming service HBO Max on the same date for 2021. The decision peeved off both filmmakers and movie fans. Fortunately it looks like next year will look very different for Warners.
CEO of WarnerMedia Jason Milar said that in 2022, Warner's biggest movies will debut in movie theatres first, and make their way to HBO Max at a later date.
Speaking on the Vox Recode Media podcast, Kilar said: "I think it’s very fair to say that a big, you know, let’s say a big DC movie … it’s very fair to say that that would go exclusively to theatres first and then go to somewhere like an HBO Max after it’s in theatres."
Upcoming 2021 Warners movies that will be headed to cinemas and HBO Max on the same date include 'Dune', 'In the Heights', 'The Suicide Squad', 'The Many Saints of Newark', and 'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It'.
Their 2022 slate includes 'The Batman', 'Black Adam' and 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3.'
Those are definitely the kinds of movies that fans will appreciate seeing on the big screen. Thus the news that they'll be in theatres first is more than welcome.
Previously, Cineworld announced that it had a deal to show Warner movies on their screens for 45 days before they move to streaming.
Warners will likely sign further deals with other major cinema chains like AMC.
Their 2021 strategy has proven to have some success in any case.
Kilar revealed that 'Godzilla vs. Kong', which is only available on PVOD here in Ireland as cinemas remain closed, generated $48.5 million in ticket sales domestically last weekend even though it was streaming at the same time.
Kilar said he believes more interest has been generated in HBO Max and their big releases have kept subscribers from leaving the service.
However, he admitted the announcement of the strategy last year was a botch.
"There’s no doubt that it was bumpy back in early December of last year," he said. "If I had the chance to do it over again, I think it’s very fair to say that we would have taken a couple more days to see if we could have had even more conversations than we were able to have."