For years now, movie theaters have been struggling as cord cutting makes it easy to watch major movies at home. 2020 didn’t help anything as many movies originally planned for theaters ended up getting rushed to streaming services. Now Warner Bros. Discovery is trying to help settle fears that it will release movies directly to Max, formally known as HBO Max.
When Max was announced last month to replace HBO Max, many wondered if this would mark a change in how theatrical releases from Warner Bros are handled. Would Warner Bros. Discovery try to use big blockbuster movies to attract subscribers to Max instead of bringing them to theaters?
This week Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav went to Vegas and appeared at the CinemaCon to talk about theatrical releases.
“At Warner Bros., at DC Studios, we believe that everything is possible. This business could be bigger and stronger than its ever been,” Zaslav said on stage at Caesar’s Palace on Tuesday, according to Variety. “We believe in full windowing of the motion pictures. We do not want to do direct-to-streaming movies. We’re in no rush to bring the movie to Max.”
Mr. Zaslav went on to say movies in theaters help grow its success when it comes to streaming. “When you open a movie in theaters, it has a whole stream of monetization. More importantly, it’s marketed. It builds a brand so when it does go to a streaming service, there’s a view that (the title) has a higher quality that benefits the streaming service.”
This news comes as the window from theater release to home release has shrunk for many films. Now it seems at least at the start, Warner Bros. Discovery will continue to push theatrical releases before releasing videos on Max.
This news, as you would expect, made many nervous theater owners happy as they struggled to recover from the recent pandemic that closed their theaters.