Dune, The Matrix 4, Godzilla Vs. Kong, and The Suicide Squad are all going to be available on HBO Max on the very same day that they open in theaters. Warner Bros. announced they’ll release all 2021 movies in this manner, which is unheard of. The studio previously announced that they were going to release Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day and HBO Max after a string of delays.
Warner Bros. released Christopher Nolan’s Tenet exclusively in theaters at the tail end of summer. While the movie did okay overseas, it barely did anything in North America, mainly due to the public health crisis. Now, the studio is experimenting with a new business model that will likely shake up the entire industry. Dune, The Matrix 4, Godzilla Vs. Kong, and The Suicide Squad are four of the most anticipated movies of 2021, especially since two of them were originally set to come out in 2020.
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was supposed to open in theaters this month, but it was pushed back to next October. Godzilla Vs Kong was also supposed to open in theaters this year. As it stands, movie theaters are largely shut down across North America and it looks like it will remain this way for quite a while. Warner Bros. and large movie theater chains are expecting 2021 to be slow year of people getting back into theaters and other public places. When all is said and done, the entire industry might look a lot different, which will be magnified if other studios start to follow suit.
Universal Pictures has worked some deals with Cinemark and AMC, but they are only shortening theater windows in order to get their movies streaming quicker. Warner Bros. jumped past all of that and is going with a new hybrid system that is already making huge waves. Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, says, “This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners, and moviegoing in general throughout 2021.” It is not clear at this time if the studio worked with theater chains to work out the new release schedules.
For now, it seems that Disney and Marvel Studios will keep their projects on track for theaters. Marvel Studios is currently sitting on Black Widow and Eternals, which were both supposed to have already opened in theaters. Universal Pictures has been working with theaters to shorten release windows and more studios will likely follow in the footsteps of Warner Bros. The 2021 experiment will only last throughout the year, and then it is believed that the studio will go back to some kind of normalcy, depending on how the public health crisis goes over the next several months. You can check out a short teaser of the Dune, The Matrix 4, The Suicide Squad and Godzilla Vs Kong announcement above, thanks to the official Warner Bros. YouTube channel.