Apparently Mortal Kombat Performed Better Than Expected On HBO Max, According To Executive

Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat

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Video game movies have had a checkered past, but the subgenre recently had some much-needed wins. The last of these projects was Simon McQuoid’s Mortal Kombat, which hit theaters and HBO Max in April. And it turns out the R-rated action movie actually performed better on the streaming service than expected, according to one Warner Bros. executive.

It’s been one year since HBO Max was launched, and a variety of projects have broken the internet over the last 365 days. Warner Bros. adopted an unprecedented release schedule during this time, with every 2021 movie arriving in homes as well as theaters. This gamble seemingly paid off for Mortal Kombat, as WarnerMedia’s executive vice president of growth and revenue Brad Wilson recently explained:

Mortal Kombat was an interesting title for us, because I will say that while we expected it to do well, we did not expect it to do as well as it did. It's been one of our top assets on the platform. And those customers are now crossing over into watching all the other great titles that we typically see, but also some of the great library content that we have with Friends, The Big Bang Theory, The Sopranos, etc.

Well, there you have it. Mortal Kombat might have been released at a time where moviegoers were only dipping their toes into returning to theaters, but that helped the project become a massive streaming success on HBO Max. Let’s just hope that said success will find the folks at WB ordering a sequel full of more fatalities.

Brad Wilson’s comment to IGN show what it’s really like working within the WB, specifically on the unique release strategy for Mortal Kombat. Despite its hard R rating and grisly violence, it seems that Simon McQuoid’s video game adaptation managed to become one of HBO Max’s top performers.

Learning just how successful Mortal Kombat was on HBO Max, one has to wonder if the studio has plans for a sequel. The movie’s box office performance was negatively affected by the timing of its release, but clearly it was a streaming hit. The ending of Mortal Kombat definitely set up a number of narrative seeds, so hopefully the fandom will see them come to bloom.

WB is continuing to release new movies on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

When the new Mortal Kombat movie arrived, fans were shocked to see that the titular tournament never actually takes place throughout the 110-minute runtime. A sequel therefore feels necessary story-wise, allowing Earthrealm and Netherrealm to finally clash with official tournament rules. Raiden mentioned seeking out new champions, with the final scene teasing the introduction of fan favorite Johnny Cage.

Of course, Warner Bros. hasn’t actually confirmed any plans for Mortal Kombat 2 just yet. But the cast is contracted for more appearances, and there seems to be fan interest. And since the movie ended up being such a streaming sensation, perhaps the studio will be convinced to continue the franchise.

Mortal Kombat is still playing in select theaters, and will eventually return to HBO Max. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.