Disney's streaming lineup is, in a word, nervous. With so much reliance on “Star Wars” and Marvel offshoots, and on previously exploited Disney characters, where does this leave the next generation of consumers formerly known as moviegoers?
Hollywood agents and filmmakers were angered by the move — but they may have forgotten something crucial: Warner Bros. belongs to WarnerMedia, which is part of AT&T. And AT&T is a telecommunications company whose interests are sometimes at odds with those of the old entertainment business. Despite joining Hollywood in a big way last year, when it bought Time Warner for more than $80 billion, AT&T may not mind so much if it speeds the demise of the century-old moviegoing habit.
Across streaming services, on-demand platforms, virtual cinemas and even actual cinemas (where theaters are open*), will be Oscar contenders, action and horror flicks, comedies and thrillers, as well as international titles, animation and documentaries to break up your virtual family get-togethers.
Pictures on Thursday announced that all of its 2021 film slate — including a new “Matrix” movie, “Godzilla vs. Kong” and the Lin-Manuel Miranda adaptation “In the Heights” — will stream on HBO Max at the same time they play in theaters.