The days of enjoying Warner Bros. movies, and by extension DC Comics films, on HBO Max the same day that they arrive in theaters is going by the wayside. There aren’t really any “perks” to a pandemic, but during the time when multiplexes were shut down and people were staying home, WB made the shift to release their first-run movies in theaters and on streaming at the exact same time. One of the last movies to enjoy this ability was The Matrix Resurrections, but the availability on streaming likely led to disappointing results at the box office. Or, maybe, everyone just chose to go see Spider-Man: No Way Home instead.
Things will return to normal for Warner Bros. in 2022, and that means Matt Reeves’ The Batman will be a theatrical exclusive before finally making its way to HBO Max. And during an interview with Vox’s Recode, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar confirmed the end of the hybrid release pattern, saying that WB movies like The Batman will return to a 45-day window from theater to streaming, meaning that the March 4 superhero movie will reach HBO Max on April 19, 2022. Kilar went on to say:
Ironically, DC was one of the pioneers of the day-and-date model, when Patty Jenkins saw her Wonder Woman 1984 arrive on HBO Max the same day it dropped in theaters, basically one year ago. Jenkins eventually came out to say she opposed the decision, believing that movies were meant for movie theaters. Knowing what we know about Matt Reeves, and the types of movies he makes, I’m sure he’d be on the same page.
But a 45-day window is the compromise that is available to the industry at the moment, because consumers likely would not allow studios to go back to a longer window. We have grown too accustomed to theatrical movies offering some level of streaming, even though movie theater chains rely on exclusive theatricality to stay in business. Could you imagine if Spider-Man: No Way Home was available on a service like Netflix? There’s no way that it would be breaking the box office records that it has been shattering over its first two weeks.
The Batman catches up with a Caped Crusader (Robert Pattinson) who has been protecting Gotham City for about two years. He’s still new to this vengeance mission, and is encountering a fresh wave of new foes as he figures out the best way to survive, with the assistance of Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and Bruce Wayne’s trusty manservant, Alfred (Andy Serkis). The villains seem to be the star of this interpretation, as Reeves has lured Paul Dano, Zoe Kravitz, and Colin Farrell into the dregs of Gotham. See what they all have in store when The Batman lands in theaters on March 4.
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