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HBO Max subscribers will get access to a total of 17 films, including titles like "Mortal Kombat," "Tom & Jerry" and "Godzilla vs. Kong" for no extra cost the day they debut in theaters, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar announced Thursday.
The announcement comes just weeks after WarnerMedia revealed that it would release "Wonder Woman 1984" on Christmas Day on HBO Max simultaneously with the movie opening in theaters.
This step represents the most consequential embrace of a day-and-date release strategy by a major studio yet, and is sure to provoke backlash from theater chains. Early in the pandemic, AMC Theaters clashed with Universal Studios for merely entertaining the idea of simultaneous release schedules. However, theater chains have been battered hard by the pandemic, with Standard and Poors recently warning that AMC may default on its debt as a result of the crisis.
Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.