AMC Theatres CEO Slams Warner Bros. Over HBO Max 2021 Release Plans

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AMC Theaters has criticized Warner Bros.’ plans to release its 2021 movies on HBO Max on the same day that these feature films arrive in cinemas. These films will be available to HBO Max subscribers for one month after release and include tentpole movies such as Dune, The Suicide Squad, and The Matrix 4.

“Clearly, Warner Media intends to sacrifice a considerable portion of the profitability of its movie studio division, and that of its production partners and filmmakers, to subsidize its HBO Max startup,” Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC Entertainment, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “As for AMC, we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense. We will aggressively pursue economic terms that preserve our business.”

AMC has been hit especially hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, having been forced to close a number of its cinemas throughout the year. Warner Bros. had also originally signed a deal with cinema chains to provide a larger cut of ticket sales–up to 60%–in a once-off agreement for Wonder Woman 1984 which will debut in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas day.

The new Warner Bros. movie release plan could be potentially devastating to theaters, as the first 30 days of release is the period when cinemas make most of its revenue on movies. Aron added that AMC had already begun an “immediate and urgent dialogue” with Warner Bros. and that it would be selling 200 million shares of stock in an effort to survive the pandemic.

“As this issue gets sorted out, we are nonetheless encouraged that vaccines protecting society at large against the coronavirus are very much at hand,” Aron concluded. “So, it is our expectation that moviegoers soon will be able once again to delight in coming to our theatres without any worry–viewing the world’s best movies safely in our big seats, with our big sound, and on our big screens.”

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