WarnerMedia is reportedly “rethinking” its theatrical release model in the wake of the coronavirus’ effect on theaters and streaming services.
Although WarnerMedia recently announced that HBO Max will arrive on May 27, the company is apparently looking at new ways to approach its theatrical model considering the effect that the coronavirus is having on the world. A new report from Deadline states that AT&T’s COO John Stankey made the announcement during the company’s first-quarter earnings call. Stankey explained that there won’t be an instant recovery because audiences are not only going to be hesitant to return to theaters, but just to be back in public.
“Don’t expect that’s going to be a snap-back [recovery]. I think that’s going to be something that we’re going to have to watch, the formation of consumer confidence, not just about going to movies, just in general about being back out in public.”
The announcement comes soon after the recent news that Warner Bros. is releasing Scoob! straight to VOD since it won’t be available in theaters on its intended release date, May 15. It isn’t clear if Stankey’s comments mean that WarnerMedia is debating releasing other big budget titles like Tenet or Wonder Woman 1984 to streaming or to HBO Max. But he did point out there’s been an incredible surge in streaming from all demographics.
“We were right about the streaming model and HBO Max. Streaming to all demographics is in high demand.”
What do you think about WarnerMedia changing its theatrical model going forward? Do you think more releases should be put onto HBO Max when it arrives in May? Sound off in the comments below!
Previously announced projects being developed for WarnerMedia’s HBO Max include a Dune series centered on an order of women known as the Bene Gesserit, with Denis Villeneuve directing the pilot episode. Furthermore, HBO Max will include Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, an animated prequel series revealing the origins of the cute but dangerous creatures.
WarnerMedia is said to be considering a less expensive alternative version of the streaming service supported by ad revenue next year.
Warner Bros’ HBO Max is currently scheduled to launch commercially in May 2020 with an anticipated 10,000 hours of premium content.