The pandemic has seen a lot of industries adapt to a socially distant world. From working from home to movies being released on streaming platforms, we assumed that some of these changes would be sticking around even after we made it to the end of the pandemic. However, WarnerMedia has announced that starting from 2022, it will be returning to showing its largest movies exclusively in theatres, despite signing a deal with HBO.
The new plan will see movies shown in theatres for 45 days before heading to a service, such as HBO as IGN reports (via Vox). This decision reflects a similar choice made by Universal, who through a deal with AMC will show its movies exclusively in theatres for 45 days before hitting streaming services.
These deals don't necessarily mean after the 45 day window movies will leave cinemas, just that they can't be shown on streaming services beforehand. For big movies such as the upcoming The Batman or most Disney movies, they will likely remain in theatres for much longer, as they undoubtedly aim for billion dollar grossings. For smaller movies that generally earn the majority of their revenue within the first few weeks, they will likely be pulled at, or soon after the 45 day window.
While we have become quite accustomed to seeing movies available for home viewing on their release date, knowing that cinemas will once again be the place to see the biggest movies is a refreshing thought.