Warner Bros in 2020
While other creators of very expected blockbuster had given up ages ago, the Warner Bros studio kept underlining that the audience will get to see the new adventures of Princess Diana of Themyscira still in 2020. However, drawing people to the cinema during this year’s Christmas season (premiere: 25th of December) sounded like a challenge that even Wonder Woman would not be able to rise up to. Then, at the end of November, the Warner Bros came with a great twist. The premiere would take place not only in cinemas but also on a streaming platform on the exact same day as the movie premiers in theaters. Everyone then assumed that it was a similar solution to the one introduced by Disney with Mulan in September and even the boldest, would not expect that a few days after Warner Bros will announce that the same strategy will be adapted in regard to all seventeen Warner Bros premiers in 2021.
As have Ann Sarnoff (Chair and CEO, of Warner Media Studios and Networks Group) and Jason Kilar (CEO of Warner Media) announced on 3rd of December:
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group. 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. 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.”
Warner Bros' strategy
The strategy for Warner Bros is to continue to screen the films theatrically worldwide, while adding an exclusive one month access period on the streaming platform HBO Max. Movie would not expect any additional costs as in the case of Mulan released on Disney+. After one month, each film will leave the platform and continue to be just shown in theaters. This strategy might be even less expected, when one reminds themselves, which movies are supposed to be released next year. To those belong new musical drama produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda In The Heights, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, continuation of one of the most loved sci-fi movies “Matrix 4 “, sequel of famous 1996 animated comedy starring James LeBron “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and Denis Villeneuve’s update of Dune.
“Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.” States Ann Sarnoff.
No one would ever deny the truth of these words, however here Warner Bros presents movies that were prepared to impress people on the great screen Would the impression be even in a share replicable when watching it at home, not to mention on smaller devices. The Warner Bros seem to be sure about their decision, as they did not wait to check the reaction of the audience after screening of Wonder Woman 1984 to implement the strategy for other premieres. Even though Warner Media claimed this is a “unique” solution due to COVID-19, and that it is intended only to affect the next 12 months of distribution. However, with the skyrocketing number of new subscriptions to HBO Max, we can be sure these events will not end without an echo both for the cinema industry and movie production.