Warner Bros. to Release All 2021 Films in Theaters and HBO Max at Same Time

Space Jam: A New Legacy and all of the 2021 slate of Warner Bros. films will release simultaneously in Theaters and HBO Max. (Credit: Warner Bros.)

With many of the nation’s theaters still shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Warner Bros. said Thursday it will release its entire 2021 film slate in theaters and on streaming platform HBO Max simultaneously.

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Ann Sarnoff, CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, in a statement. “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.”

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Among the studio’s films set to arrive in the coming year are Space Jam: A New Legacy, Judas and the Black Messiah, Matrix 4, The Suicide Squad, and Tom & Jerry.

“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,” Sarnoff added.

Each film will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR on HBO Max. Then, after one month on the streaming service, the movies will leave the platform and continue to show theatrically in the U.S. and in international territories.

“After considering all available options and the projected state of movie-going throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months,” said Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia. “More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films.”

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Theaters in many U.S. cities have been closed since March. With its content “sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone,” Warner Bros. said it had to figure out a way to release the movies.

“This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners and moviegoing in general throughout 2021,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “We have a fantastic, wide ranging slate of titles from talented and visionary filmmakers next year, and we’re excited to be able get these movies in front of audiences around the world.”

Below is the full list of the Warner Bros. 2021 slate:
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
The Many Saints of Newark
King Richard
Cry Macho
Matrix 4