Godzilla vs Kong has kept fans in limbo for some time now. At first, the big kaiju flick suffered a string of release date changes, and the pandemic prompted the film to push back its release until 2021. Recent rumors suggested the movie was looking to debut on a streaming service as the pandemic promises to keep theaters closed throughout part of 2021. And thanks to a recent announcement by WarnerMedia, it turns out Godzilla vs Kong will debut on HBO Max the same day it hits theaters, and it will not be the only film doing so.
According to the latest announcement from Warner Bros. Pictures Group, it plans to release its 2021 film slate with a streaming focus. This means Warner Bros. movies will continue to air in theaters globally where available, but it will pair theatrical releases with HBO Max debuts.
I got you something ✨nice✨ this year:— HBO Max (@hbomax) December 3, 2020
🎁 The biggest movie premieres
🎁 In theaters and on HBO Max the exact same day
🎁 Beginning December 25 with #WonderWoman1984#HBOMax #WBPictures https://t.co/BZgFFRrrg2 pic.twitter.com/J2KBdWd9Tf
"The hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S. Following the one month HBO Max access period domestically, each film will leave the platform and continue theatrically in the U.S. and international territories, with all customary distribution windows applying to the title," the new statement reads.
This announcement comes shortly after reports went live about Godzilla vs Kong potentially skipping movie theaters for a digital debut. It was said that Netflix inquired about premiering the movie, but the offer was turned down. It seems HBO Max was still sorting out a deal with Warner Bros. Pictures on its 2021 slate. And at last, the deal has gone through.
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” Ann Sarnoff, the Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios said about the major slate addition.
“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 theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021. With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films."0comments
As for what films are currently expected to debut with this hybrid model, well - there are a lot. Godzilla vs Kong is just one of several, and you can check out the current list of title here: The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho and Matrix 4.