Cineworld has weighed in on the controversial decision (Picture: Getty Images)
Cineworld has addressed Warner Bros’ controversial decision to send its entire 2021 slate to HBO Max as well as cinemas.
The studio revealed that films including The Matrix 4, Dune, and Suicide Squad will be available on HBO Max for 31 days after release, as well as being released into cinemas.
Cinema chain Cineworld, which earlier this year announced it’s set to close its doors after the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the film industry, has released a statement, saying: ‘Big movies are made for the big screen.’
The statement reads: ‘Cineworld was aware of WB’s plan to release Wonder Woman directly to its streaming service, which has been announced at a time when our cinemas remain closed in the US and UK.
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‘We are very encouraged by the giant steps achieved recently with regards to the Covid-19 vaccination process, which is expected to be put in place earlier than previously anticipated.
‘This will generate significant relief for our industry and enable our cinemas to make a great comeback.
Dune is one of the upcoming movies set to drop on HBO Max (Picture: AP)
‘We believe that at such a time WB will look to reach an agreement about the proper window and terms that will work for both sides.
‘Big movies are made for the big screen and we cannot wait to reopen our cinemas in Q1 in order to offer our customers, as always, the best place to watch a movie.’
Speaking about Warner Bros’ decision, Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, told The Hollywood Reporter it’s a ‘unique one-year plan’.
She said: ‘We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
It’s a ‘unique one-year plan’ for WB (Picture: Getty Images)
‘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.’
She continued: ‘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.
‘We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.’
All films will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR on HBO Max.
However, HBO Max is only available in the United States so Warner Bros will roll out films internationally in cinemas as previously planned.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the film industry hard, with blockbusters including James Bond movie No Time To Die, Jurassic World, and the nineth Fast and Furious instalment F9 all being delayed.
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