Warner Bros. Pictures will produce 10 movies in 2022 exclusively for subscription streaming service HBO Max, said Jason Kilar, who oversees both AT&T WarnerMedia divisions, to equity analysts Thursday.
Kilar didn't specify what specific films would be on that HBO Max exclusive slate. Warner Bros.' major "tentpole" releases will still debut exclusively in theaters and play there for 45 days, he said.
“The motion picture format absolutely matters and it matters in a number of ways,” the WarnerMedia CEO told equity analysts, speaking specifically about Godzilla vs. King Kong, which grossed more than $463 million at the global box office while simultaneously attracting an untold number of subscriber dollars to HBO Max after debuting day-and-date on the platform in late March
“It matters in theaters ... They also matter at home and, absolutely, in terms of the response that we’ve gotten not just from that title but from all of our day in day titles," Kilar added. "We feel very good about the response that consumers have given it in the home.”
Kilar roiled the motion picture industry in December, when he announced that Warner Bros.' entire 2021 film slate would debut simultaneously in theater chains, largely shuttered due to the pandemic at the time, and on HBO Max.
WarnerMedia since healed the rift the Hollywood creative community and the National Association of Theater Owners, committing its 2022 slate to an exclusive theatrical window, albeit one that's much shorter--45 days--than traditional theatrical release periods.
Since then, The Walt Disney Company debuted Marvel title Black Widow day-and-date as a $30 Premiere Access premium title on Disney Plus, and announced a $60 million streaming haul for the film's first weekend.
One analyst called the performance a "watershed moment" for day-and-date distribution.
The film industry, Kilar told equity analysts during parent company AT&T's second-quarter earnings call Thursday, isn't “going back to the way the world was in 2015, 2016 or 2017, where windows were quite lengthy between theatrical and home exhibition.”
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