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First Run Movies Going To Streaming, A Potential Boost For Foxtel

In a move that could be a major boost for large screen TV manufacturers and sound companies, Hollywood Studios is starting to release new movies to streaming services on the same day as cinemas, a move that could hurt many cinema companies while boosting the value of organisations such as Netflix and Foxtel in the future.

HBO Max has confirmed that its subscribers will get to see Dune, Matrix 4, and every other 2021 movie release from Warner Bros, on the same day as their cinema release with several other Hollywood Studio’s set to follow their lead.

The move will be a big boost for the likes of Foxtel and Binge if approved for the Australian market next year.

The Warner Bro titles will begin an exclusive one-month run on HBO Max in the U.S., according to Variety, while the rest of the world will still have to attend screenings in person at movie theatres.

“It’s only a matter of time before Australians will be able to watch first run movies at home. The big issue will be what is the cost” said one industry executive.

They added “The issue is going to be about revenue and demand and a lot of people will be watching how this exercise goes because if it is successful and it becomes the norm to launch new movies to streaming the demand for high quality projectors, TV’s and premium sound systems will soar” they said.

In the USA HBO Max’s Wonder Woman 1984 will be available for streaming on the same day (December 25) as theatres, and will be presented in 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos on compatible devices and smart TVs.

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions,” WarnerMedia Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said in a statement, “including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group. No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theatres in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”

Among the movies that WarnerMedia currently has planned for 2021 are The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho, Dune, and Matrix 4.

Comments from WarnerMedia suggest that it’s latest move is primarily a response to the current ongoing pandemic both in the U.S. and around the world. “This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners, and moviegoing in general throughout 2021,” Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich said in a separate statement.

The decision is likely to create shockwaves in the streaming industry.

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