Warner Bros. to Make New Films Available for Streaming

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Entertainment company Warner Bros. has decided to make its films scheduled for release in 2021 available on the online streaming service HBO Max and in theaters at the same time. Godzilla vs. Kong and The Suicide Squad are some of the movies that will be released this way. Upcoming movies Mortal Kombat, a remake of Dune, and The Matrix 4 will also be released in a similar fashion. According to company executives, the decision was prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has restricted moviegoers and kept many theaters closed. WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group CEO Ann Sarnoff said no one wants to have films back on the big screen as much as Warner Bros. does. However, the studio also needs to take into account that theaters will likely continue operating at a limited capacity this year under the new normal. Executive Jason Kilar said the company went for same-day streaming for their 2021 movies because they believe it will benefit fans, filmmakers, and the studio. However, Christopher Nolan, director of blockbuster movies Interstellar and The Dark Knight, criticized Warner Bros. because it did not consult filmmakers or theater operators before making the decision. Nolan said the company’s decision is not favorable to filmmakers who create movies intended for the big screen. Rival media companies Disney and Universal Pictures have likewise adopted new strategies for their content. Disney has focused on creating movies for its streaming service Disney+, while Universal Pictures has been making movies available for streaming around 17 days after releasing them in theaters.

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