The new executives of Warner Bros. Discovery reportedly want DC Films projects made for theaters first.
After theaters were forced to close their doors during the pandemic and more films were released directly to streaming services, Warner Bros. announced plans to give their entire 2021 film slate simultaneous theatrical and HBO Max releases. The move proved unpopular with filmmakers and those who feared the impact it could have on cinemas.
While the simultaneous release plan has not been continued into 2022, certain Warner Bros. films were still being planned for direct release to HBO Max. However, plans have now been revealed for most of the films released under the company’s DC Films banner to receive theatrical releases.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and the rest of the company’s new leadership are imposing a fresh mandate, switching the focus of future DC Films projects to a “theatrical-first goal.” The mandate was revealed in an article discussing the recent cancellation of Wonder Twins, a DC Fillms project that was intended to hit HBO Max.
Batgirl, slated for release later this year, is due to be the first original DC movie to release exclusively on HBO Max, at least for the time being. Earlier reports had suggested that, following the success of The Batman, the studio was considering investing in a theatrical release for Batgirl. Now it seem as though this will not only be the case for Batgirl, but all future DC movies, though there’s been no official announcement so far.
The move away from direct streaming has likely been influenced by large audience numbers returning to movie theaters, especially for blockbuster releases such as major DC and Marvel movies. The reveal comes after earlier reports that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was looking to shake up and revitalize DC Entertainment.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter