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What Warner Bros Move To Stream 2021 Movie Slate Might Mean For Theaters




In an aerial photo shot with a drone an empty parking lot is seen in front of a Cinemark theater shuttered by the coronavirus COVID-19 on December 04, 2020 in Melrose Park, Illinois.
In an aerial photo shot with a drone an empty parking lot is seen in front of a Cinemark theater shuttered by the coronavirus COVID-19 on December 04, 2020 in Melrose Park, Illinois.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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In the most seismic shift by a Hollywood studio yet during the pandemic, Warner Bros. Pictures on Thursday announced that all of its 2021 film slate — including a new “Matrix” movie, “Godzilla vs. Kong” and the Lin-Manuel Miranda adaptation “In the Heights” — will stream on HBO Max at the same time the films play in theaters.

Among the myriad release plan changes wrought by the pandemic, no studio has so fully embraced streaming as a lifeline. But after disappointing domestic ticket sales for “Tenet,” and with the majority of U.S. theaters currently closed, the AT&T-owned Warner Bros. will turn to a hybrid distribution model next year. Films will debut simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max in the U.S. After one month, they will stop streaming and continue to play only in theaters.

We check in on the story, as well as how it’ll affect the Laemmle Theatres chain in Los Angeles.

With files from the Associated Press. 

Guests:

John Horn, arts and entertainment host for KPCC; he tweets @JGHorn

Greg Laemmle, president and CEO of Laemmle Theatres; he tweets @greglaemmle