WarnerMedia is willing to continue using its Warner Bros. assets to lure subscribers to the service in 2022. During AT&T’s second-quarter earnings session, the company’s executives were asked about how the pandemic release model would shape a permanent release strategy.
WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar responded by citing the theatrical success of Godzilla vs. Kong that while “the motion picture format absolutely matters,” the company also feels “very good about the response that consumers have given it in the home.”
Kilar said Warner Bros. will produce 10 films that will debut on HBO Max the same day they are released. He said, “I certainly don’t anticipate us going back to the way the world was in 2015 or ’16 or ’17, where windows were quite lengthy between theatrical and home exhibition, whether it was an a la carte transaction or something else”.
Earlier this year, Warner Bros. reached a multi-year agreement with Cineworld for the 2021 and 2022 film exhibitions. It is to be noted that WarnerMedia faced significant backlash from the film community when it announced films would debut under its same-day streaming and theatrical release model. Even creators including directors Christopher Nolan and Dune director Denis Villeneuve criticized the strategy.
Kilar said, “I think that what you’re going to see is this industry continue to evolve and to continue to innovate in ways that not only work for consumers and fans but also work for our business partners.”