If you had any doubt that AT&T is determined — deeply determined — to make HBO Max a huge success, you can put that uncertainty to rest now. The new streaming service just announced that it will show every new Warner Bros movie in 2021 on the same day it premieres in theaters.
The list of same-day films will include Matrix 4, The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, and Cry Macho.
“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do,” Ann Sarnoff, Warner Media’s CEO, said in a statement. “We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”
While Warner Media, which is also owned by AT&T, is blaming the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic for the unprecedented action, it’s also abundantly clear that the parent company is going all-in to support HBO Max. The streaming service has lagged behind rivals Netflix and Disney+ since its launch on May 27, in part due to a lack of carriage by the nation’s leading streaming device, Roku. (Amazon’s Fire TV added HBO Max last month after a six month holdout.)
The move to premiere every new Warner theatrical film in 2021 the same day on HBO Max, as Warner will also do with Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day, could finally pressure Roku to make a deal.
In addition to the movie news, HBO Max revealed today that you can save 22 percent on a six-month subscription if you prepay. The normal monthly rate is $14.99, which would come to roughly $90 for six months. But if you prepay, you can get HBO Max for $69.99 for six months.
The offer is valid from today, December 3, to January 15, 2021.
HBO Max is also ending its seven-day free trial as the calendar moves closer to the Wonder Woman 1984 premiere.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann