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 theatrical releases will continue to be important to the company, but he can’t ignore the success it has had in home viewing.
“The format of the movie is absolutely important and it matters in a number of ways,” Kilar said. “It matters in theaters… It matters at home as well, and absolutely in terms of the response we’ve gotten not just from that title but from all of our daily titles. We feel very good with the response that consumers have given at home. “
During the second quarter, HBO and HBO Max surpassed 47 million US subscribers, 2.8 million more than in the first quarter. Globally, the number of subscribers reached 67.5 million at the end of June, up from 63.9 million in the last quarter.
WarnerMedia has used a day-and-date release model for its theatrical releases in 2021, which places 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 destined for theatrical release will be screened exclusively in theaters for at least 45 days.
Movies made just for HBO Max will only go to theaters in limited runs in select locations if they are expected to be Oscar contenders.
“In terms of where things are going in the future, I think it’s fair to say, and I’ve said it publicly before, I certainly don’t anticipate us going back to the way the world was in 2015, 2016 or 2017, where the windows were quite long between the theater and the home showing, whether it was an on-demand 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.