Warner Brothers, which already announced that they would be releasing Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max and in theaters on Christmas Day, has responded to COVID-19 shutting down theaters with one swift action: declaring that their entire 2021 film slate would premiere on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously. This announcement was met with much shock; I know I had about six different chats going, all asking the same thing: is this the end of moviegoing as we know it?
It’s a question that comes with a loaded answer, honestly. On the one hand, this is the way of the world: for many of us, three-quarters of 2020 has been spent being unable to attend theaters due to COVID fears shutting down public spaces. This feels like a natural progression to a growing problem. However, this is a decision that doesn’t appear to be made solely based on the predicament studios are in due to cinemas being closed. It’s a lot to unpack, which is why I was glad when the homie William sent a note asking if I wanted to discuss this.
That said, here are some raw thoughts and opinions on what Warner Brothers releasing their 2021 film slate on HBO Max in conjunction with theaters might mean.