AMC cinemas have criticised Warner Bros over their plans to release all of their 2021 films to stream concurrently with cinemas.
On Thursday (3 December), WarnerMedia shared the news that its releases including Dune, The Matrix 4 and In The Heights would be made available for US audiences to stream on subscription service HBO Max on the same day they were released in theatres.
These movies will be able to stream for one month before being removed for a period of time, with WarnerMedia planning to run the new model as an experiment for one year.
Responding to the news, AMC Entertainment president Adam Arron said that while the chain, which is the country’s largest film exhibitor, had initially agreed to use this model for Wonder Woman 1984, it had been deemed an “exception” rather than the norm.
“These coronavirus-impacted times are uncharted waters for all of us, which is why AMC signed on to an HBO Max exception to customary practices for one film only, Wonder Woman 1984, being released by Warner Brothers at Christmas when the pandemic appears that it will be at its height,” he told Variety.
He noted that Warner now hopes to do this for all their 2021 theatrical movies, “despite the likelihood that with vaccines right around the corner the theatre business is expected to recover”.
“Clearly, Warner Media intends to sacrifice a considerable portion of the profitability of its movie studio division, and that of its production partners and filmmakers, to subsidise its HBO Max start up,” he continued. “As for AMC, we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense.”
The Independent has contacted Warner Bros for comment.