Some of the most highly-anticipated blockbuster films of 2021 will get a streaming service debut as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on Hollywood.
Wonder Woman 1984, The Matrix 4, Dune, the Sopranos prequel and the next instalment of the Suicide Squad are just some of the big name films slated for a same day cinematic and streaming release on platform HBO Max.
It’s part of an experimental new plan by movie moguls Warner Brothers that could gravely impact on cinematic ticket sales globally.
Gal Gadot and Chris Pine’s Wonder Woman sequel will kick off the transition, as it hits the streaming service and US cinemas on Christmas day, before coming to Australian cinemas on December 26.
But Australian viewers could miss out on the opportunity to watch the blockbusters from their living rooms, with HBO Max still not available down under.
There is no word yet from Foxtel if they plan to debut all of Warner Brothers 2021 titles next year, as part of their multi-year content agreement with WarnerMedia.
Foxtel are the exclusive Australian home for HBO — which is also available on their local streaming platform Binge.
The West have contacted Foxtel for comment.
After a month of streaming on HBO Max, the films will be taken down and exclusively available in cinemas for a time, before being shifted to Amazon and iTunes to rent.
Other titles that will have a streaming release include Godzilla vs Kong, Angelina Jolie’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, Hugh Jackman’s Reminiscence and Will Smith’s King Richard.
The decision comes as Warner Brothers rethinks its commercial roll out in the wake of COVID-19, with many cinemas around the world still closed due to the pandemic.
“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,” Warner Media CEO Ann Sarnoff said.
Ms Sarnoff said the streaming first framework was a temporary fix, with plans to return to a usual cinematic release in 2022.
The studio released their more than $250 million Christopher Nolan film Tenet in September after a saga of rescheduling due to the pandemic that is ultimately expected to cost them millions.