As Godzilla Vs. Kong ended up having a better than expected international and domestic debut at the box office, it sounds like WarnerMedia won’t be carrying over the day-and-date model into 2022 at the same level.
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar spoke with Vox on their podcast Recode Media, revealing that 2022 is expected to see blockbusters return to more traditional release windows with a theatrical run and landing on HBO Max later on.
KILAR: “I think it’s very fair to say that a big, you know, let’s say a big DC movie … it’s very fair to say that that would go exclusively to theaters first and then go to somewhere like an HBO Max after it’s in theaters.”
Their 2022 lineup includes The Batman on March 4, Fantastic Beasts 3 on July 15, Black Adam on July 29, The Flash on November 4, and Aquaman 2 on December 16.
However, only specifically mentioning the bigger movies might mean that movies like Judas & The Black Messiah won’t get the same theatrical exclusivity as the the massive blockbusters that would still need a large box office return to turn a profit.
This comes after AT&T CEO John Stankey had been quoted last year suggesting the day-and-day model would be something they’d considering continuing beyond the pandemic as the standard release window, something that had been controversial at the time.
We still don’t know if a film like Legendary’s Dune will even land on HBO Max later this year, as a deal has yet to be made official and director Denis Villeneuve has argued that it could seriously damage the sci-fi films’ franchise chances. It’s worth noting that Dune is only part one of a two-part story as they’ve split the first Dune book into two planned films, the 2021 release will end on a cliffhanger. Denis hasn’t even shot the second film and could screw-up Legendary’s plans for future installments (there are six original novels from author Frank Herbert).