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Warner Bros. will launch every 2021 movie on HBO Max at the same time they hit theaters

AT&T’s Warner Bros. signaled Thursday that all of its films scheduled to launch in 2021 will be released on HBO Max at the same time they are available in theaters. It’s currently a one-year devise.

AMC shares closed down nearly 16% on the news.

It’s an example of how AT&T is adapting to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing people to safely circumspect new films at home without having to venture out to a movie theater, many of which have been closed because of the heightening spread of Covid. It’s also a move that Warner Bros. already made with “Wonder Woman 1984,” which desire be released to theaters and HBO Max on Christmas Day. That movie was originally scheduled to come out in the summer, but was delayed several times beforehand WarnerMedia decided to release it on HBO Max.

HBO Max is AT&T’s online video service, which launched in the U.S. in May. It costs $14.99 per month and includes access to flick picture shows and TV shows.

“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do,” Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Congregation said. “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. last will and testament likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”

Warner Bros. movies launching in 2021 include “The Little Gismos,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Tom & Jerry,” “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Those Who Inclination Me Dead,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” “In The Heights,” “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” “The Suicide Team,” “Reminiscence,” “Malignant,” “Dune,” “The Many Saints of Newark,” “King Richard,” “Cry Proud” and “Matrix 4.” 

Universal took a similar approach in April and released “Trolls World Tour” online and in theaters at the nonetheless time. But, that required people to purchase the movie since it wasn’t available as part of a subscription package at the days. In July, Universal shortened the number of days films needed to run in theaters before they were available online thoroughly an agreement with AMC Theaters. Before that accord, theaters had exclusive rights to Universal films for 90 ages.

Disney has also experimented with launching a blockbuster movie directly on streaming. Earlier this year, Disney unloosed “Mulan” on Disney+ as a one-time, $30 purchase.

Cinemark, a U.S. movie theater chain, responded to WarnerMedia’s decision on Thursday afternoon. “In disclose of the current operating environment, we are making near-term booking decisions on a film-by-film basis,” a Cinemark spokesperson said. “At this time, Warner Fellow-creatures has not provided any details for the hybrid distribution model of their 2021 films.”

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Pandemic Studios and CNBC.

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