In this photo illustration an HBO Max logo seen displayed on a smartphone.
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Warner Bros. will bolster HBO Max next year with more than 10 new movie titles made exclusively for the streaming service, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said Thursday.
Speaking during AT&T’s second-quarter earnings call, Kilar said that theatrical releases will continue to be important to the company, but it can’t ignore the success it has seen from at-home viewing.
“The motion picture format absolutely matters and it matters in a number of ways,” Kilar said. “It matters in theaters …They also matter at home and, absolutely, in terms of the response that we’ve gotten not just from that title but from all of our day in day titles. We feel very good about the response that consumers have given it in the home.”
During the second quarter, HBO and HBO Max topped 47 million U.S. subscribers, up 2.8 million from the first quarter. Globally, subscriber numbers reached 67.5 million as of the end of June, up from 63.9 million last quarter.
WarnerMedia has utilized a day-and-date release model for its theatrical releases in 2021, which puts its feature films on the big screen and on HBO Max on the same day. This strategy will disappear in 2022 and Warner Bros. films that are earmarked for theatrical release will run exclusively in cinemas for at least 45 days.
Films made just for HBO Max will only go to theaters in limited runs at select locations if they are expected to be Oscar contenders.
“In terms of where things go in the future, I think it’s fair to say that, and I’ve said this before publicly, I certainly don’t anticipate us going back to the way the world was in 2015 or 2016 or 2017, where windows were quite lengthy 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.