Warner Bros. have announced that all of their major 2021 releases will arrive on the HBO Max streaming service at the same time as in cinemas in the US.
Dune, The Matrix 4 and The Suicide Squad are among the films set for the simultaneous release.
The news comes as a critical blow to the cinema industry which is already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
Warner Bros said the one-year plan was a response to the “unprecedented times” of the health crisis.
Can I subscribe to HBO Max in the UK?
HBO Max is not yet available in the UK.
According to HBO Max Global boss Andy Forssell the streaming service will be available in much of Europe by the second half of the 2021.
When will HBO Max come to the UK?
There is no firm news on HBO Max coming to the UK.
There are doubts that it will arrive at all due to HBO’s exclusivity deal with Sky which runs until 2024.
According to Variety Warner Bros are keen to strike a deal with Sky and make Wonder Woman 1984 available to stream in the UK one month after the film’s cinema release on December 16.
Should the partnership prove successful the likes of The Matrix 4 and Dune could well be made available to stream in the UK during their cinema run.
How will HBO Max cinema releases work?
Warner Bros said the films will be released for one month on HBO Max before leaving the platform, but will continue to play in cinemas. It is unclear when the films will return to HBO Max.
What films will be made available on HBO Max?
The Matrix 4, Dune and The Suicide Squad will all be available to view on the HBO Max streaming service.
Other films to be affected by the new model include Sopranos prequel The Many Saints Of Newark, Godzilla Vs Kong, video game adaptation Mortal Kombat, neo-western Those Who Wish Me Dead, horror movie The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy and sports drama King Richard.
Wonder Woman 1984 is set to be released later this month.
Why is Warner Bros. pivoting to streaming?
Ann Sarnoff, chair and chief executive of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said the pandemic called for “creative solutions”.
She said: “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 theatres in the US 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 theatres, 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.”