Warner Bros. ruffled some feathers when it announced it would release all of its new 2021 movies simultaneously on HBO Max, but the company seems to be betting that theaters won’t become an apocalyptic wasteland. Variety reports that the company plans to release Furiosa, the prequel to Max Max: Fury Road, and The Color Purple first in theaters in 2023.
Warner’s plan to launch next year’s films online is a great thing for consumers who would rather stay at home than risk contracting a deadly virus to see, say, Godzilla vs. Kong. But the plan immediately made enemies of some Hollywood veterans. Director Christopher Nolan called HBO Max “the worst streaming service” and accused Warner Bros. of not telling anyone about its plan until just 90 minutes before it was announced.
Despite Warner’s rosy outlook on the existence of theaters, the signs on their marquees might not look the same by 2023. AMC has warned investors that it will run out of cash in the middle of January if it can’t find $750 million.
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