AT&T CEO Suggests New Release Model For WB Films Will Extend Beyond 2021

Yesterday, WarnerMedia announced that they would be releasing their 2021 slate with a new day-and-date model releasing their films the same day on HBO Max (for one month) and theatrically. Those 17 films will include 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.

While speaking with Deadline, WarnerMedia’s Jason Kilar dodged their question about what 2022 would look like moving forward.

KILNAR: “As to what the world looks like after 2021, I have no grand proclamations to make. Our focus, candidly, is on the here and now. We’re focused on getting through this pandemic like any business is, and we’re putting a lot of brain cells against what the right thing is to do to serve fans and to serve partners and to server ourselves. And all those things are important to do and that’s what our focus is, obviously that is what we announced today.”

However, AT&T CEO John Stankey seemingly jumped into future when asked by The Washington Post if they’d return to normal business practices including severing the day-and-date model they announced yesterday once the pandemic recedes. Stating the following which sounds a lot like they’re keen to keep this model.

STANKEY: “In March, we unleashed a new normal in society. That horse left the barn. I don’t think any of us are going to change that dynamic.”

Stankey did highlight the importance of movie theaters but didn’t really go into extensive detail what that relationship will look like post-pandemic. It’ll be interesting to see the reactions of domestic theaters who are going to be the most impacted if this model becomes a permanent thing as they’ll be in direct competition with HBO Max (a domestic streaming service).

You can watch that exchange below they start talking about the announcement around the 43 minute mark.

It was also mentioned by The Hollywood Reporter that WarnerMedia partners like Legendary Entertainment weren’t even told about the day-and-date model prior to the announcement and were just as blindsided as theaters. Legendary is behind WB’s massive upcoming releases such as Dune and Godzilla vs Kong.


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