The world’s largest theater chain had balked at Warner Bros.’ decision to release this year’s films in cinemas and through its HBO Max streaming service on the same day.
Warner Bros. had already announced that it would be returning to cinema-only releases in 2022 during its parent company AT&T’s earnings call last month. At that time it was unclear if the studio had signed deals with any theater chains.
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said at that time that theatrical releases will continue to be important to the company, even as it creates streaming-only content in the future.
While the hybrid release model was a necessity during the pandemic, there’s no doubt that the strategy has eaten into box office receipts across the board for all studios. Big budget films have made a fraction of what they would have in pre-pandemic times.