The movie industry took a big hit when the coronavirus pandemic exploded.  Widespread closures of movie theaters across the country forced studios to change the way they release their films. Many studios opted for releases on streaming services for an extra charge. Disney+ initially charged $30 on top of their monthly fee for fans to watch Mulan.

Warner Brothers has decided to partner with HBO Max and have their entire slate of films for 2021 drop on the streaming site the same day the movie hits theaters at no extra fee on top of the monthly subscription price. However, it's only for a month. You can expect 17 movies to hit the streaming service by the end of 2021: Mortal Kombat, The Little Things, Tom & Jerry, The Many Saints of Newark, Reminiscence, Godzilla vs Kong, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Dune, King Richard, The Matrix 4, Sherlock Holmes 3, Cry Macho, Judas and the Black Messiah, Those Who Wish Me Dead, Malignant.

Regarding the decision, Warner Brothers said they it's trying to guarantee "as many movies as we could for the year for the global theatrical marketplace." For which I'm grateful. Movies are getting me through the pandemic and I'm running out of new content.

They also aren't worried about theater attendance in places where they are actually open because, quote, "We think where theaters are open, and consumers can go, that a lot of people will choose to go to the theater, especially for big movies." Which makes total sense, because people have been cooped up for so long they'll be excited to go. And those who won't probably weren't going to even without a pandemic.

If I can watch Mortal Kombat in theaters I will. The original was my first movie going experience as a "big kid" so I feel bonded to that. The Matrix 4 also needs a big screen. Undoubtedly the effects deserve to be seen on a grand scale. So does Keanu Reeves. Everything else is a couch watch for me. Time to sign up for HBO Max.

(Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times)


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