WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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bilateralrope
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WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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'RIP cinema': US Movie-goers stunned as Warner Bros pledges to release entire 2021 slate on HBO Max streaming service
Warner Brothers has announced its entire 2021 movie release schedule - including highly-anticipated films such as Matrix 4 and Dune - will be released on US streaming service HBO Max at the same time as cinemas.

The news comes after the movie studio confirmed Wonder Woman 1984 would be released for HBO Max subscribers this Christmas, as well as coming out in any theatres that are able to be open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Warner Bros has insisted this new model of simultaneous streaming and cinematic releases is a "unique one-year plan", many film fans are taking the announcement as a sign of the impending death of cinema.

Other films set to be released to HBO Max subscribers at no extra cost include The Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs King Kong, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Denzel Washington's thriller The Little Things and The Sopranos prequel flick The Many Saints of Newark.

Despite Warner Bros claims the initiative is not expected to continue into 2022 or beyond, social media users feared the move would be the final nail in the coffin for movie theatres already teetering on the brink of extension due to coronavirus.

"This will never end. People won't want to go back," one Twitter user wrote, while another's grim prediction read simply: "RIP cinema."

"They need to have a one year plan to funnel some money to theaters. I don’t know how they expect them to be able to stay open after this," offered a third.

It wasn't all doom and gloom, however, with some commentators calling the move "a win" for filmmaking.

"Might be a small loss for theaters but this seems like a win either way. There are so many movies that aren’t meant for theaters, reserve the theaters for movies that demand that experience. Hopefully this means better movies too," one tweet read.

In New Zealand, where HBO Max is not available, movies are expected to continue to cinematic releases as normal - providing theatres are not impacted by any COVID-19 alert level restrictions.
I can see this being a deathblow for cinemas. If streaming makes WB enough money they won't want to give cinemas their exclusivity window back. If that happens, I expect the other major studios to follow along once the financial numbers go public. Without that exclusivity window protecting them from having to compete with streaming, cinemas are going to have trouble. I know it would probably mean I never step foot in a cinema again.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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No. I am going to see Godzilla Vs King Kong in the theater, dammit. That's the ONLY WAY to appreciate Kaiju, seeing them bigger than life on screen!

Of course, if they show it at the drive-in movies, that'd be even better :)
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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LadyTevar wrote: 2020-12-03 08:21pmOf course, if they show it at the drive-in movies, that'd be even better :)
Gotta say, I am enjoying the resurgence of the drive-in.

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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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"Might be a small loss for theaters but this seems like a win either way. There are so many movies that aren’t meant for theaters, reserve the theaters for movies that demand that experience. Hopefully this means better movies too," one tweet read.
Because the words "direct to video" meant better movies, right?
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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They did this probably in part to boost their Streaming Service numbers.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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Khaat wrote: 2020-12-03 09:18pm
"Might be a small loss for theaters but this seems like a win either way. There are so many movies that aren’t meant for theaters, reserve the theaters for movies that demand that experience. Hopefully this means better movies too," one tweet read.
Because the words "direct to video" meant better movies, right?
Remember how Spielberg tried to get the Oscars rules changed to exclude Netflix movies ?

Remember how the DOJ warned them that such a rule change might be an antitrust violation ?

Oh and when that rule change failed, Netflix did manage some wins:
Although Netflix received 24 nominations (the most of any studio) at this year’s Oscars, its films only ended up winning two awards.
Direct to video and direct to streaming are different. Mainly, direct to streaming movies get an effort and budget put into them that direct to video never did.
LadyTevar wrote: 2020-12-03 08:21pm No. I am going to see Godzilla Vs King Kong in the theater, dammit. That's the ONLY WAY to appreciate Kaiju, seeing them bigger than life on screen!

Of course, if they show it at the drive-in movies, that'd be even better :)
Sure. If a movie has enough visual spectacle, it benefits from a theater sized screen.

I just wonder if that will be enough to keep theaters in business.
Majin Gojira wrote: 2020-12-03 09:41pm They did this probably in part to boost their Streaming Service numbers.
I think covid is responsible. The increased risk means less people going to theaters, so they turned to streaming to try and get some of that revenue back. As for why they waited so long for this, I'm guessing there were some contracts with theaters that were in the way.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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So glad I have video projector and surround sound. I'll still be able to enjoy Kong vs Godzilla as it should be!
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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The annoying thing is that if you DON'T have HBOmax you won't see those movies. I can't afford to subscribe to every streaming service in the world. I'm already at my limit for subscribing to such services.

With the movie theater you can see any movie released without having to join a monthly service.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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I have never used a single commercial streaming service, I can't believe what a money drain this must be for people. It feels like we're back in the 1990s with pay to access channels. We do have some movie access for free via our library, 3 movies per month per library card, mainly use it for the kids.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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LadyTevar wrote: 2020-12-03 08:21pm No. I am going to see Godzilla Vs King Kong in the theater, dammit. That's the ONLY WAY to appreciate Kaiju, seeing them bigger than life on screen!

Of course, if they show it at the drive-in movies, that'd be even better :)
That's the only movie I was concerned about. :D

I don't want to have to get HBOmax to see it. I've heard a rumor about them possibly making a Godzilla series for HBOmax in which case I might have to break down and get it. :(
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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We get free HBO Max as part of our cell phone service through AT&T, but we will need to subscribe to 3 other streaming services to watch all the other shows we want. Nuts to that.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

Post by Ziggy Stardust »

I think the claims that movie theaters will all disappear are pretty overblown. Big spectacle movies will still attract people to theaters, especially when you start seeing movies filmed in 8k at higher frame rates that simply can't be supported by home theater technology. And art-house/independent theaters will still exist (I mean, the business model for a lot of these places is already based purely on people who like going to theaters instead of watching at home anyway and it's been like that for decades, this particular client base isn't going to suddenly change their mind because they can stream another bland superhero movie).

Sure, a lot of movie theaters will go out of business, and it will certainly have a disproportionate effect on smaller/rural areas that will no longer be able to support them, but any major metropolitan area is still going to have them. Most of the movie theaters that disappear will be the dingy, run-down chain multiplexes that were already struggling in the first place. Hell, at some point it wouldn't surprise me for movie theater chains like Alamo Drafthouse to just make a deal with Netflix and do opening night screenings of their movies and such. We are just going to see more theaters following the model where they also serve not-shitty food and alcohol, etc.

(Also, bit of a side-bar, but fuck Christopher Nolan. I know that isn't really relevant to this discussion, but fuck him.)
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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His Divine Shadow wrote: 2020-12-04 05:33am I have never used a single commercial streaming service, I can't believe what a money drain this must be for people. It feels like we're back in the 1990s with pay to access channels. We do have some movie access for free via our library, 3 movies per month per library card, mainly use it for the kids.
I have Amazon video as part of the Amazon Prime membership I buy anyway, for other reasons, and which I feel pays for itself over the course of a year.

I pay for Netflix, which I use nearly daily.

That's it. I want no more than that.

My sister got Disney+ and added me as family, so that costs me nothing and yeah, I watch that one frequently, too, although not as much as the other two.

But, yeah, if you start adding more and more then the costs go up rapidly. I haven't watched the new Star Trek series because they're on services I don't get. Likewise for Game of Thrones.

A lot of these other things I wind up borrowing from the library. Once in awhile I still buy a movie or TV series if I know I'll want to re-watch it over and over or I can't get it any other way.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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Broomstick wrote: 2020-12-04 04:35am The annoying thing is that if you DON'T have HBOmax you won't see those movies. I can't afford to subscribe to every streaming service in the world. I'm already at my limit for subscribing to such services.

With the movie theater you can see any movie released without having to join a monthly service.
No, it's pretty much clear you can still go and see those movies in the theatre if you want to. HBOmax is for the people who can't/dare not take a public health risk by going to the cinema.

I would love to go to the cinema and watch all those movies if the pandemic is over, but given that the vaccine is probably not going to be distributed to me until summer next year, watching it online is my best alternative right now.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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Oh sure, I can go watch it in the theater... but only if the theaters are open! They aren't open everywhere.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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Broomstick wrote: 2020-12-05 04:31am Oh sure, I can go watch it in the theater... but only if the theaters are open! They aren't open everywhere.
Most of the mentioned movies are only going to be released next year, which I hope the situation in the US will be better due to vaccinations. So theatres may re-open again by then.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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His Divine Shadow wrote: 2020-12-04 05:33am I have never used a single commercial streaming service, I can't believe what a money drain this must be for people. It feels like we're back in the 1990s with pay to access channels. We do have some movie access for free via our library, 3 movies per month per library card, mainly use it for the kids.
The irony being that streaming was supposed to be the alternative to the overly expensive cable TV model ("Cut The Cord" and all that) but now with every company wanting to get their piece of the streaming pie it's probably worse - or at least no better* - than cable TV.

*One of the complaints about traditional TV providers was the "bundle" model: if you wanted History and Discovery you could get that, along with 20+ other channels you didn't give a shit about, for an additional cost. But now with how atomized the streaming market is getting we're right back there all over again. Want the new Star Trek? You can get it...along with everything else CBS has, whether you care or not. Star Wars? Pay extra for that, too, plus all the Disney stuff you may or may not care about. Etc.

At least in the US, of course. Since a lot of the studios don't want to put in the effort to expand outside of US borders, they'll still release their new properties on "general-purpose" streaming services like Netflix. Or just not release them at all, but hey.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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RogueIce wrote: 2020-12-06 01:50pm At least in the US, of course. Since a lot of the studios don't want to put in the effort to expand outside of US borders, they'll still release their new properties on "general-purpose" streaming services like Netflix. Or just not release them at all, but hey.
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Lower Decks and Short Treks s2 are... no where.

At least Disney plus is world wide.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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His Divine Shadow wrote: 2020-12-04 05:33am I have never used a single commercial streaming service, I can't believe what a money drain this must be for people. It feels like we're back in the 1990s with pay to access channels. We do have some movie access for free via our library, 3 movies per month per library card, mainly use it for the kids.
Per hour, it works out pretty good for the cost. Going out is expensive, and Australia's free to air landscape is wanting.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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Gandalf wrote: 2020-12-06 02:38pm
His Divine Shadow wrote: 2020-12-04 05:33am I have never used a single commercial streaming service, I can't believe what a money drain this must be for people. It feels like we're back in the 1990s with pay to access channels. We do have some movie access for free via our library, 3 movies per month per library card, mainly use it for the kids.
Per hour, it works out pretty good for the cost. Going out is expensive, and Australia's free to air landscape is wanting.
That depends on what you like to watch and what the streaming situation is where you live. In the US it's definitely getting more expensive with every major studio trying to make their own services, which means Netflix and Amazon Prime will get fewer and fewer "big ticket" movies and shows on their platforms. So you either have to suck it up and subscribe to all the different platforms - assuming there are movies/shows you care to watch across all of them - or try to juggle your subscriptions month to month. But I suspect - and I'm sure the studios are banking on - that this will be too much effort for the majority so they'll just live with the multiple subscriptions.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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One thing to note with these streaming movies is that I doubt they will be available with the standard subscription for whatever streaming service hosts them. I'm expecting you have to pay specifically for that movie for a while after it releases.

Also, when I've looked at the prices here in New Zealand, I noticed that the price for the movie was twice what a theater ticket would have cost. But still cheaper once I factor in food.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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bilateralrope wrote: 2020-12-06 03:12pm One thing to note with these streaming movies is that I doubt they will be available with the standard subscription for whatever streaming service hosts them. I'm expecting you have to pay specifically for that movie for a while after it releases.
IIRC that's what Disney did with Mulan but as I recall it wasn't terribly popular.

But WB is specifically saying they won't charge extra for it. The only limitation is a 31 day run time, then they'll be pulled for whatever that "theater to home video" standard gap is before coming back. But otherwise a regular HBO Max subscription will let you watch the new releases as many times as you want within that 31 day release window.

Which means if WB goes forward with this model, it'll be a tough sell to the public for other streamers to charge extra for new releases and still remain competitive. I mean maybe Disney could get away with it for the next major MCU release but I can't think of any others people would do that for in large number.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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Gandalf wrote: 2020-12-06 02:38pm
His Divine Shadow wrote: 2020-12-04 05:33am I have never used a single commercial streaming service, I can't believe what a money drain this must be for people. It feels like we're back in the 1990s with pay to access channels. We do have some movie access for free via our library, 3 movies per month per library card, mainly use it for the kids.
Per hour, it works out pretty good for the cost. Going out is expensive, and Australia's free to air landscape is wanting.
I don't "go out" either, so I am living pretty cheaply, unless you mean going outdoors, which is free here. And thankfully, I don't have that much free time. I'm coming to realize that having too much free time is something of a curse.
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Re: WB to give all 2021 movies a simultaneous streaming release

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His Divine Shadow wrote: 2020-12-07 04:46am I'm coming to realize that having too much free time is something of a curse.
It definitely is. It's why it's a very good idea to develop a good variety of hobbies to keep you "busy" when you retire.

My parents have done a good job at this. Me, not so much. I pretty much eat, drink, and veg around when I'm not at work. It's
something I definitely need to work on for my health now and even more so for retirement.
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