Warner Bros concludes HBO Max experiment, will release 2022 films on a 45-day window
WB has made good on its promise
Warner Bros. will reportedly return to theatre-only releases with their slew of 2022 films, but for a short period of time. The company has signed a deal with Regal Cinemas to shorten the theatrical exclusivity window. Reports suggest, the studio has reached a deal with Cineworld, owner of Regal Cinemas (the second-largest theatrical chain in the world), which states that WB will only release their films in theatres, but they will only stay on the big screen for 45 days before the company makes them available on PVOD or HBO Max.
This marks an end to the controversial decision made by WB in 2021 that experimented with the release od major films like Wonder Woman 1984, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, The Suicide Squad, Dune, and The Matrix 4 simultaneously on its HBO Max streaming service and in theatres for the first 30 days upon their release. Although the studio had promised that this would be a temporary fix to the ongoing pandemic-induced situation.
Their short-lived decision was slammed by many including Christopher Nolan. "They're meant to be out there for the widest possible audiences... And now they're being used as a loss-leader for the streaming service -- for the fledgeling streaming service -- without any consultation. So, there's a lot of controversies. It's very, very, very, very messy. A real bait and switch. Yeah, it's sort of not how you treat filmmakers and stars and people who, these guys have given a lot for these projects. They deserved to be consulted and spoken to about what was going to happen to their work," he had said.
"Some of our industry's biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service," the Tenet helmer was quoted saying.