Tom & Jerry could (predictably) end up on HBO Max. According to a new report, WarnerMedia is considering more day and date releases for some of its early 2021 films after it did for Wonder Woman 1984, which opens in cinemas in the US this Christmas and simultaneously on HBO Max. WW84 will also appear in Indian cinemas this Christmas Tom & Jerry – slated to debut in theaters on March 5, 2021 – is not considering the film. Judas and the Black Messiah (TBA 2021) with Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield and the crime thriller The Little Things (January 29, 2021) with Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto are also on the list for HBO Max.
People who are familiar with the matter told diversity WarnerMedia is considering hybrid theatrical HBO Max release for some of its 2021 titles. During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it seems like an easy decision, but it’s a lot more complicated. Sometimes contracts promise a theatrical release (like The New Mutants) and backend deals that promise a percentage of sales need to be renegotiated, Variety adds. Such was the case with Wonder Woman 1984, where Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins received sizeable bonuses, even though the film would not have made the required box office numbers if it had hit theaters.
These discussions don’t work in every case, which is why some films that appear to be eligible for streaming are delayed as the studios are contractually obliged to meet certain requirements. Mortal Kombat – an upcoming restart based on the video game franchise – has also been considered for release on HBO Max and in US theaters according to Variety, but Warner Bros. chooses to postpone the release altogether.
This is due to WarnerMedia using an HBO Max release for one of its biggest releases in 2021, Godzilla vs. Kong, which is currently slated to open in cinemas worldwide on May 21, 2021. Netflix had reportedly bid $ 200 million (approximately Rs 1,473 million) to get global streaming rights from film producer Legendary Pictures, but distributor Warner Bros. blocked it because its parent company WarnerMedia put the film on its own streaming service wishes.
Since its launch in May, HBO Max gained 8.6 million active subscribers in September. Only 3.6 million are direct paid subscribers, while the remainder get access to HBO Max through wholesale agreements such as those included with a pay-TV provider. More importantly, it was difficult to switch existing HBO subscribers to HBO Max. Those who pay HBO on TV have free access to HBO Max, which otherwise costs $ 15 (around Rs 1,100) per month. HBO Max has a nominal total of 28.7 million subscribers, including HBO on TV, but those additional subscribers haven’t bothered to activate their HBO Max account.
With Wonder Woman 1984 dropping Christmas on HBO Max, WarnerMedia is hoping it will fuel the growth of the fledgling streaming service and is poised to waste even more box office dollars on adding more theatrical releases – like Tom & Jerry -. to HBO max.
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