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HBO Max just snatched all of Hollywood’s edges with this game-changing move. This morning, the studio announced that not only are they releasing Wonder Woman on their streaming service and in theaters on December 25, but the same strategy will be used for their entire 2021 movie slate.

That means you can watch Denzel Washington’s The Little ThingsJudas and the Black MessiahTom & JerryGodzilla vs. KongMortal 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, Cry Macho and Matrix 4 on HBO Max.

In a statement announcing the news, Ann Sarnoff, CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, cited “unprecedented times” that “call for creative solutions.”

“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do,” said Sarnoff. “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. With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.”

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said in a statement, “After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months. More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”

I have to admit I’m not mad at this idea. As a huge movie buff, I love the movie going experience. But I also have to admit that I only like going to the theater for certain films. If I want to experience seeing Matrix 4 in a theater (since that’s how I saw the trilogy), I will go experience it in IMAX. Same with Dune.

I would definitely enjoy watching some of these films in the comfort of my own home, since there are times that I have looked forward to seeing a movie, and some dickhead who could care less about the movie I’ve been excited to see for months ruins it by causing a disturbance. The 2018 Halloween sequel quickly comes to mind.

We are in uncertain times right now, and with no clear idea on when movie theaters will be open in places like New York City, at least Warner Bros has taken the first step with this game-changing move.

How theaters like AMC, Regal, Cinemark, and the countless mom & pop theaters will be affected is up for a much longer debate I’d rather not break down in the following article.

What I am curious about is if other studios with their own streaming services (Disney+) will follow suit with their MCU films? I’m guessing they’re waiting to see how Wonder Woman does before they all make a decision that will impact the future of cinema for years to come.

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