Warner Bros. HBO Max will be bolstering next year with more than 10 new movie titles made exclusively for the streaming service, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said Thursday.
During AT&T’s second-quarter call, Kilar said theatrical releases will continue to be important to the company, but the success it has seen in home viewing is something the company can’t ignore.
“The movie format definitely matters and it matters in a number of ways,” Kilar said. “It’s important in theaters … They also matter at home and, absolutely, in terms of the response we’ve gotten, not just from that title, but from all of our daytime titles. We feel really good about the response that consumers have given it to their homes.”
During the second quarter, HBO and HBO Max reached more than 47 million US subscribers, 2.8 million more than in the first quarter. Global subscribers were 67.5 million at the end of June, compared to 63.9 million in the previous quarter.
WarnerMedia has used a day-and-date release model for its 2021 theatrical releases, with the feature films appearing on the big screen and on HBO Max on the same day. This strategy will disappear in 2022 and Warner Bros. films destined for theatrical broadcasts will run exclusively in theaters for a minimum of 45 days.
Movies made especially for HBO Max will only be released in limited editions in select locations if they are expected to be contenders for an Oscar.
“As for where things are going in the future, I think it’s fair to say that, and I’ve said this publicly before, I certainly don’t expect us to go back to what the world was like in 2015 or 2016 or 2017, where windows were quite long between theatrical and home exhibition, whether it was an a la carte transaction or something else,” Kilar said.
WarnerMedia, which is currently owned by AT&T, is expected to merge with Discovery next year if the transaction is approved by regulators.