One of the biggest brouhahas of 2020 — in addition to politics and death and destruction and the economy and climate and global pandemics — most certainly was the decision by WarnerMedia to send all of its remaining film releases to HBO Max. It was a bold move by the bold Jason Kilar, who for has troubles has seen parent company decide to offload WarnerMedia into a new company led by Discovery, and likely Kilar, too.
That's not to say that Kilar was wrong, though. And on AT&T's earnings call this week, Kilar reiterated that there's no way the industry is going back to the way it was in pre-2020.
"I certainly don't anticipate us going back to the way the world was in 2015, or '16, or '17, when windows were quite lengthy between theatrical and home exhibition," Kilar said on the earnings call. He didn't say that we should expect simultaneous theater and streaming releases to continue, but that there will be shorter windows between the two. But while that window will narrow to 45 days, Kilar said it'll be for "a portion of our slate."
And, he continued, "Warner Bros. is also going to be producing over 10 motion pictures that will be on HBO Max on Day 1."
There's a lot we still don't know.
We don't know what those movies are. We don't know if they're high-profile releases, or Warner Bros.' leftovers. We don't know know if the films in question are only coming to HBO Max, or if they'll be available in theaters, too.
That's a lot of hedging and non-specifics, which is the sort of thing you expect from an earnings call.
Meanwhile, HBO Max added some 2.89 million subscribers in the United States in the second quarter of the year, the company reported, giving it a total of 43.518 million domestically. Hopefully we'll see global numbers broken out for Q3, now that HBO Max is live in 39 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Worldwide, the combined legacy HBO and HBO Max hit some 67.5 million subscribers.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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