The newly introduced WarnerMedia-Discovery merger will definitely result in some modifications for Warner Bros., however it appears some plans will stay the identical. Regardless of reviews from Deadline indicating in any other case, the studio remains to be planning to launch its upcoming adaptation of Dune concurrently in theaters and on HBO Max.
The reversal of Dune’s day-and-date technique was reported as a part of a deal that Warner Bros. had reached with Regal Cinemas to check a return to restoring the 45-day theatrical window earlier than new releases go to streaming. Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve’s new sci-fi epic has additionally been tipped to launch on the Venice Movie Competition in September, forward of an October theatrical launch earlier than heading to HBO Max at a later date.
Nevertheless, WarnerMedia’s head of communications Johanna Fuentes quickly took to Twitter to shoot down the reviews.
“Dune will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on the identical day within the US,” Fuentes wrote.
#Dune will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on the identical day within the US. (Supply: Warner Bros.) https://t.co/SiFpbz0nK2
— Johanna Fuentes (@jfuentes) May 17, 2021
The correction come off the heels of stories that AT&T is divesting its leisure belongings in a $43 billion deal that can merge WarnerMedia and Discovery. It’s speculated that WarnerMedia’s new management below Discovery CEO David Zaslav shall be extra talent-friendly, which can have led credence to the concept Dune would return to having an unique theatrical run.
Dune is just one film included in Warner Bros. ongoing plan to concurrently launch its 2021 slate of theatrically-released films on HBO Max for a one-month unique window. The strategy started with December’s launch of Marvel Lady 1984 and has continued with releases corresponding to Judas and the Black Messiah, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Mortal Kombat. Whereas Warner Bros. theatrical releases could have an exclusivity window of 45 days at U.S. Regal theaters starting in 2022, Dune is not going to be included as a part of that deal.
After it was introduced, the unprecedented theatrical-streaming launch hybrid drew ire throughout the leisure trade, together with from Villeneuve. The Dune director spoke out in opposition to the mannequin final December, saying that “AT&T hijacked one of the crucial respectable and necessary studios in movie historical past” and the choice was “all in regards to the survival of a telecom mammoth.” Regardless of AT&T now largely being out of the equation, evidently plans for the simultaneous HBO Max debut are holding regular.
For extra about how WarnerMedia and Discovery’s merger might influence issues on a shopper degree, learn our rundown on what we all know up to now.
J. Kim Murphy is a contract leisure author.