Death of the Movie Theatre Experience?

Steven Valanoski, Reporter

It was announced Thursday that all of Warner Bros 2021 film slate would be released theatrically and through streaming. So, will this bring an end to the movie theater experience?

Warner Bros has announced that their entire film slate of 2021 will be debuting on HBO Max and releasing in theaters on the same day. Including upcoming films such as The Matrix four, The Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs. Kong, Dune, and others. When Warner Bros announced that Wonder women 1984 would release on HBO Max and theatres this month, many assumed that this was just an isolated occurrence because the film was delayed multiple times.


When the COVID-19 crisis began early this year, and movie theaters began to shut down, films began to be pushed back. Films like Black Widow, Wonder Woman, Jungle Cruise, and Scoob were all driven back by the pandemic.

Movie theaters shut down, and many wondered when and if they would open at all this year. With the virus still ongoing, with recent spikes occurring across the country, it seems like movie theaters might, yet again, face obstacles with releasing films. Marvel Studios, who have shuffled the entire next phase of their film slate, has not budged.

They still intend to release their films theatrically, though many wonder if they wait to see what kind of impact Wonder Woman has when released on Christmas day this month.

This move will help HBO Max, which is a significant challenger to Netflix. The streaming platform launched last spring, which did not offer much buzz when released, will see a considerable boost in membership with this move.

When these films are on HBO Max, users will have 31 days to watch the movie before moving exclusively to theaters. The movie will then stay in theaters until they are released onto the traditional home entertainment venue.

Is this a plan for the future of cinema releases? It very well might be. With Warner Bros making such a decision, you can bet that studios are watching this closely. HBO Max will increase their user memberships, and Disney could see this and make similar decisions regarding their future Marvel film slate.

Suppose people have the choice to stay in the comfort of their home and watch a big summer blockbuster film like Wonder Woman without going to the movie theater, where the price for popcorn and such has only gotten more expensive. Do you think they won’t decide to stay home instead?

With the release of a vaccine for COVID-19 imminent, will people feel more confident in going back to the movie theater? We shall see. It will still take months for the distribution of the vaccine to the public. Can movie theaters go on for several more months with dwindling profits? Only time will tell.