Warner Brothers Move to HBO Max

Christine Krenke

Starting December 25, Warner Brothers will begin streaming their movies on HBO Max. All upcoming films, including “Wonder Woman 1984”, will premiere both in theaters and on HBO’s platform. The distribution deal is expected to last until the end of 2021, by which time the company anticipates the number of coronavirus cases will be significantly smaller. 

Warner Bros.’ decision to work with HBO is yet another shocking blow to theaters this year. 17 of the companies’ newest films, many of which were expected to bring in large audiences, are now pulled from exclusive theater showings. Disney and Pixar have also cancelled the 2020 theatrical releases for many of their movies, including “Mulan,” Disney’s newest live-action adaptation, and “Soul”, Pixar’s latest animated film. With more and more companies shifting to online streaming services, the future of the movie theater industry looks grim.

“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do.” Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios assured the public in her latest press release. “But we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”

The deal, while not entirely beneficial for theaters, is great financially for Warner Brothers, who will still be able to gain lots of viewers despite Covid-19.