Warner Bros is the latest major studio to have made a deal with a major cinema chain that will significantly shorten the release window.
After going with a hybrid release format for 2021, Warner Bros. has come to a new deal with exhibitors to return to theaters only in 2022, with a shorter theatrical window. This morning, they announced a new deal with Regal Cinemas that will see them return to a more normal release plan in 2022 (not debuting day-and-date on HBO Max).
The difference now, however, is that they’ll be eschewing the traditional 90-day theatrical window. Much like all the other big studios are doing (Paramount and Universal have already made deals for the same with AMC/Cinemark), WB will now have a 45-day release window. So in just a month and a half after hitting theaters, they’ll be able to drop films on VOD.
“We are very happy for the agreement with Warner Bros.,” said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger in a statement. “This agreement shows the studio’s commitment to the theatrical business and we see this agreement as an important milestone in our 100 year relationship with Warner Bros.”
While WB’s current HBO Max/Theater plan will remain in place for the rest of 2021, it looks like things will get back to “normal” pretty soon! Shortening the theatrical window has been something many have seen coming for a while now and personally, I’m glad to see exhibitors and studios finally coming together on these plans.