Warner Bros Moving 2021 Cinema Slate To HBO Max

Last Night Warner Bros drop a bomb last night when they announced their whole 2021 cinematic slate is heading to HBO Max.

It’s one of the biggest news stories film fans will read this year and the after effect will be like a bomb dropped on the industry. Now films, studios, cinemas and cinephiles what the future will be for film.

Deadline broke the news  that Warner Bros full slate for 2021 will premiere on HBO Max first for one month before heading to a cinema screen near you.  Every film will be released in 4K Ultra HD and HDR.

That means the following films (possibly more) will now be exclusively shown on the channel before they head to a cinema…

The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In the Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho and Matrix 4.

Eyes were opened when they announced  Wonder Woman 1984 was heading to the streaming channel on Christmas Day in the USA (UK still cinemas, 16th December). We should have seen this was going to be a test film and eyes will on Warner Bros especially from rival studios.

HBO dropped this short Trailer and you’ll see many of those films we’ve been waiting to see or hoping to see in cinemas 2021…

The big question many cinephiles around the world and here in the UK and Ireland, how will we see these films as we don’t have HBO Max in our countries?

2021 is going to be a major year for film and Television in general. How we watch those films and shows is going to change especially in the Streaming world. Netflix certainly got the ball rolling and rarely was challenged for several years, Amazon Prime arrived. Then slowly studios created their own channels, most just in their own countries. However the biggest tease came when Disney+ arrived that things are going to change drastically.

At first everything was great , a place to watch all of Disney’s brands under one roof. Releasing shows and films created exclusively for their channel, they were still missing that big release. You don’t need me to tell you  how devastating 2020 has been personally for everyone. Covid-19 has destroyed the schedules for many things including  films. Lockdown after lockdown, restrictions  have prevented big films being released and despite safety measures many people refused  to return to cinemas. When Disney decided to release Mulan on their channel instead of cinemas, we should have known things are changing.

Disney’s MULAN
Mulan (Yifei Liu)
Photo: Film Frame
© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

When No Time To Die was delayed again until Easter 2021, it was the end of the line for many cinema chains especially Cineworld. With lockdowns leaving many parts of the UK with no cinemas, post lockdown until things improve there will still be many towns and cities with no cinemas and sadly many people with no jobs.  With this delay in releasing films has frustrated cinephiles potentially  burst the bubble of anticipation of these big films.

The pandemic is the catalyst for these studios to take drastic measures like moving all their 2021 slate. Personally I may not always like this, I can see the logic behind it.  With an year of delays, there’s still no guarantee 2021 will be any better with talk of vaccines on the agenda. These films will still be in cinemas be it  4weeks after their HBO  Max premiere. What that will do  for those films internationally  in regards to release dates will those releases be 4 weeks or even months later we don’t know yet. This move potentially could increase but also lose Warner Bros income, we now live in a era of risk.

HBO have internationally been involved in production of films and shows the past few years, so there is talk 2021 HBO Max will arrive in the rest of the world. Streaming services seem to be the future for film, but they cannot ignore releasing films in cinemas either. If  Streaming is the future prices will rise, we’ll end up paying more for the big films as well as monthly fees too. Filmmakers will be reluctant to change how they make films as many are made for the big screen. If they can’t go to the big screen, televisions and media players will drastically need to improve if they want to give us that ultimate cinematic experience at home.