The cast of ‘Friends’ is reuniting in an HBO Max special – here’s how to watch the reunion when it debuts on May 27

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Friends: The Reunion
  • Friends: The Reunion” will bring together the cast of the iconic NBC sitcom.
  • The unscripted special will premiere May 27 on HBO Max.
  • HBO Max costs $15 a month for ad-free streaming.

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Seventeen years after the series finale of “Friends,” the original cast is reuniting in an unscripted special for HBO Max.

“Friends: The Reunion” brings Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc back to the stage where they filmed the sitcom in Burbank, California. In addition to the main cast members, the special will include 18 celebrity guest stars including BTS, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Cindy Crawford, and more.

The special was originally set for release on two occasions in 2020 but the date was delayed until 2021 due to the pandemic. HBO Max will premiere the special on May 27 on the one-year anniversary of the streaming service’s launch.

How to watch ‘Friends: The Reunion’

“Friends: The Reunion” will premiere on May 27 exclusively on HBO Max. The streaming service costs $15 a month for ad-free streaming. An ad-supported plan will launch in June for $10 a month.

HBO Max doesn’t include a free trial directly on its site but you can get a one-week trial with the HBO Max add-on through Hulu.

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You can watch the “Friends” reunion through HBO Max on a number of web browsers and devices, including iOS and Android mobile products, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, many smart TVs (with the exception of LG models), and more. A full list of HBO Max’s supported devices is available here.

How to watch old episodes of ‘Friends’

In addition to the special, all 10 seasons of “Friends” are available on HBO Max.

HBO Max is also home to a number of other classic shows including “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Movie lovers can also stream a number of Warner Bros. films via HBO Max on the same day they hit theaters. Subscribers can watch “Those Who Wish Me Dead” and “Mortal Kombat” right now, but these titles are only available to stream for 31 days after they debut.

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AT&T is reportedly spinning off its media assets to Discovery

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“Wonder Woman 1984” debuts on HBO Max and in theaters on December 25.

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Nike CEO John Donahoe

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‘Mortal Kombat’ is now streaming on HBO Max for a limited time – here’s how to watch at home while it’s still in theaters

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Mortal Kombat Warner Bros
Ludi Lin and Max Huang as “Mortal Kombat” fighters Liu Kang and Kung Lao.

  • A new film based on the hit game “Mortal Kombat” debuted in theaters and on HBO Max on April 23.
  • You can stream the movie until May 24 with an HBO Max subscription.
  • HBO Max costs $15 a month and it’s included with most HBO cable plans.

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“Mortal Kombat,” a new film adaptation of the hit video game franchise, premiered on HBO Max and in theaters on April 23. Unlike the “Mortal Kombat” movies released in the late ’90s, this live-action reboot is rated R and features the gruesome “fatalities” that made the original game a cultural phenomenon.

In addition to an uncut trailer, Warner Bros. released the first seven minutes of the film to let fans know just how deadly the movie’s fights will be. The free preview includes a sequence with Scorpion and Sub-Zero, two of the franchise’s most iconic characters.

First released in arcades in 1992, “Mortal Kombat” depicts a martial arts tournament with supernatural fighters capable of tearing each other limb from limb. Despite public outcry against the game’s graphic depictions of violence, the latest entry, “Mortal Kombat 11,” was one of the bestselling games of 2019.

Through the years, “Mortal Kombat” has been adapted into comic books, cartoons, and films for fans of all ages.

How to watch ‘Mortal Kombat’ on HBO Max

“Mortal Kombat” is the latest Warner Bros. film to launch on HBO Max the same day it’s released in theaters. The film debuted on April 23 and will remain available to stream until May 24 for all HBO Max subscribers.

HBO Max costs $15 a month and also includes thousands of other movies and shows. You can find more information about the service in our full HBO Max review and our HBO Max guide.

HBO Max doesn’t usually offer a free trial, but there may be a workaround if you’ve never created an HBO account before. Hulu subscribers can get a seven-day trial for HBO Max if they sign up for the service through their Hulu account. Keep in mind that if you’ve used the same email address for HBO streaming in the past, this won’t work.

Monthly Subscription (small)

HBO Max is available through web browsers and most media devices, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple devices, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and Samsung smart TVs. “Mortal Kombat” will stream in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos on supported devices.

What other new movies are coming to HBO Max?

In addition to “Mortal Kombat,” HBO Max subscribers will be able to watch “Godzilla vs. Kong” through April 30 and the Angelina Jolie thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead” starting May 14. More than 10 more movies are scheduled to debut on HBO Max before the end of the year, including “Dune” and “The Suicide Squad.”

Warner Bros. adopted this release strategy during 2020 to reach more viewers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the studio has already announced an exclusive partnership with Regal to bring new movies to Regal theaters first in 2022.

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Netflix’s huge subscriber growth miss in Q1 was still better than HBO Max’s performance

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“Godzilla vs. Kong”

  • HBO Max added nearly 3 million subscribers in Q1, while Netflix added about 4 million.
  • Netflix’s quarter was considered terrible and sent its stock down 10%. It still beat HBO Max.
  • Still, there was some good news for both Netflix and HBO Max.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Netflix had a disappointing first quarter that sent its stock tumbling 10%. But it still beat HBO Max.

WarnerMedia’s HBO Max gained almost 3 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, but fell short of Netflix’s worst miss since 2013. Netflix added about about 4 million subscribers – 2 million shy of its initial projections for the quarter. It’s now projecting just 1 million subscriber additions in Q2.

AT&T, the corporate parent of WarnerMedia, said during its Q1 earnings report on Wednesday that Max now had 9.7 million retail subscribers (those who subscribe directly to Max), an increase of 2.8 million from the previous quarter. It didn’t disclose “activations” as it previously has, which account for HBO customers who have accessed their Max subscription.

zack snyder justice league
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League”

The results come after a quarter in which WarnerMedia made bold moves to help boost Max subscribers. Its decision to release movies simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max this year was particularly met with backlash in Hollywood.

Movies like “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Tom and Jerry” have been box-office successes despite also streaming. (“Godzilla vs. Kong” has passed $80 million domestically and is approaching $400 million at the worldwide box office.) “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” the long-awaited director’s cut of the superhero teamup movie, also debuted exclusively on Max in the US after a years-long fan campaign.

That didn’t seem to translate into huge subscriber growth, however.

Still, despite lackluster quarters, there’s some good news for both Netflix and Max.

Netflix missed subscriber expectations, but churn decreased. As Insider’s Ashley Rodriguez reported, retaining existing subscribers could help Netflix sustain its edge in the streaming space during what will be a challenging year after pandemic-related growth in 2020. Netflix has 207 million subscribers worldwide, with 67 million in the US.

And data has shown that WarnerMedia’s hybrid theatrical/streaming strategy has helped Max. “Wonder Woman 1984,” which debuted on Max and in theaters at the same time, generated 4.3 times the signups compared to the average weekend in December, according to the analytics firm Antenna.

As more Warner Bros. movies are released throughout the year under the same strategy, including “The Suicide Squad,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” and “Dune,” Max could benefit.

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‘Mortal Kombat’ debuts on HBO Max and in theaters on April 23, and you can stream the first 7 minutes right now

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Mortal Kombat Warner Bros
Ludi Lin and Max Huang as “Mortal Kombat” fighters Liu Kang and Kung Lao.

  • A new film based on the hit game “Mortal Kombat” will debut in theaters and on HBO Max on April 23.
  • Warner Bros. has released seven minutes of the movie to prepare fans for the R-rated reboot.
  • You can stream the film until May 24 with an HBO Max subscription for $15 a month.

Max (small)

“Mortal Kombat,” a new film adaptation of the hit video game franchise, will premiere on HBO Max and in theaters on April 23. Unlike the “Mortal Kombat” movies released in the late ’90s, this live-action reboot is rated R and will feature the gruesome “fatalities” that made the original game a cultural phenomenon.

In addition to an uncut trailer, Warner Bros. has released the first seven minutes of the film to let fans know just how deadly the movie’s fights will be. The preview includes a sequence with Scorpion and Sub-Zero, two of the franchise’s most iconic characters.

First released in arcades in 1992, “Mortal Kombat” depicts a martial arts tournament with supernatural fighters capable of tearing each other limb from limb. Despite public outcry against the game’s graphic depictions of violence, the latest entry, “Mortal Kombat 11,” was one of the bestselling games of 2019.

Through the years, “Mortal Kombat” has been adapted into comic books, cartoons, and films for fans of all ages.

How to watch ‘Mortal Kombat’ on HBO Max

“Mortal Kombat” is the latest Warner Bros. film to launch on HBO Max the same day it’s released in theaters. The film will be debut on April 23 and will remain available to stream until May 24 for all HBO Max subscribers.

HBO Max costs $15 a month and also includes thousands of other movies and shows. You can find more information about the service in our full HBO Max review and our HBO Max guide.

HBO Max doesn’t usually offer a free trial, but there may be a workaround if you’ve never created an HBO account before. Hulu subscribers can get a seven-day trial for HBO Max if they sign up for the service through their Hulu account. Keep in mind that if you’ve used the same email address for HBO streaming in the past, this won’t work.

Monthly Subscription (small)

HBO Max is available through web browsers and most media devices, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple devices, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and Samsung smart TVs. “Mortal Kombat” will stream in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos on supported devices.

What other new movies are coming to HBO Max?

In addition to “Mortal Kombat,” HBO Max subscribers will be able to watch “Godzilla vs. Kong” through April 30 and the Angelina Jolie thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead” starting May 14. More than 10 more movies are scheduled to debut on HBO Max before the end of the year, including “Dune” and “The Suicide Squad.”

Warner Bros. adopted this release strategy during 2020 to reach more viewers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the studio has already announced an exclusive partnership with Regal to bring new movies to Regal theaters first in 2022.

Max (small)

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How to watch ‘The Little Things’ starring Denzel Washington through VOD streaming services

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the little things warner bros
  • The Little Things” starring Denzel Washington is now available through VOD platforms.
  • The movie was previously streaming on HBO Max, but it’s no longer included on the service.
  • You can rent the film for $20 through streaming retailers like Prime Video, Vudu, and more.

(Digital Rental) (small)

The Little Things” is now available to rent through video-on-demand (VOD) services for $20. The film originally premiered on HBO Max on January 29, but was removed from the service on March 1.

The movie follows Deke, a deputy sheriff played by Denzel Washington, who winds up searching for a serial killer in Los Angeles. Deke meets Baxter (Rami Malek), a sergeant from the LA Sheriff’s Department, who tags along on the investigation. But as the search continues, it reveals secrets of Deke’s past. The thriller is directed by John Lee Hancock and also features actor Jared Leto.

Leto’s performance as Albert Sparma earned him two nominations at award ceremonies in 2021. The Golden Globes nominated Leto in the “Best Supporting Actor” category while the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominated him in the category for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.”

How to watch ‘The Little Things’

“The Little Things” is now available to rent from VOD streaming retailers like Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now, and Microsoft. Rentals are priced at $20.

“The Little Things” was previously available on HBO Max, but the film left the service on March 1 and it’s unclear when the movie will return.

(Digital Rental) (button)

VOD rental services are available on most mobile devices, media players, and smart TVs. Rental options include 4K with HDR, high definition (HD), and standard definition (SD). You can also watch “The Little Things” with Dolby Atmos audio if your device and app of choice support it.

Most streaming retailers give you 30 days to start watching a rental and up to 48 hours to complete a film after playback is initiated.

Though the movie is currently only available via streaming, “The Little Things” will be released on DVD and Blu-ray starting May 4.

What other Warner Bros. movies are coming to HBO Max?

“The Little Things” premiered on HBO Max on January 29 and remained on the service until March 1. The movie is one of several Warner Bros. films set for day-and-date releases on HBO Max and in theaters throughout 2021.

The next Warner Bros. movie to appear on HBO Max will be “Mortal Kombat” on April 23. “The Matrix 4,” “Space Jam 2,” and more will also debut later this year. Here’s a complete list of every upcoming Warner Bros. movie with same-day releases on both HBO Max and in movie theaters.

HBO Max costs $15 a month. Cable subscribers who pay for HBO can get HBO Max for free as part of their existing plan, although there are some limitations.

For detailed impressions, check out our full HBO Max review here.

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How to watch every ‘Harry Potter’ movie

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Harry Potter and Hedwig
Owls are a key part of “Harry Potter.”

  • The “Harry Potter” movies are now available to stream through the SyFy channel’s on-demand library.
  • To access SyFy on-demand you can use a live streaming service like Sling or Hulu + Live TV.
  • You can also rent “Harry Potter” movies without a subscription through VOD retailers like Amazon.

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For fans of the “Harry Potter” movie franchise, subscription streaming options are surprisingly hard to track down.

As recently as August 2020, the series was streaming on HBO Max. The franchise then made an appearance on NBC’s Peacock in October 2020, but has since left the service. For the time being, you can watch the movies on-demand via the SyFy channel on live streaming platforms like Sling or Hulu + Live TV. That said, it’s not clear how long the movies will remain on the network.

The popular fantasy films take place in the Harry Potter Universe, where wizards and people without magical abilities (muggles) coexist. Throughout the series, viewers follow the protagonist, Harry, and his two friends, Hermione and Ron, as they progress through their formative years at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Along the way, Harry meets allies and enemies, hones his magic, and unlocks his destiny.

If you’re an existing fan or just someone who wants to watch the movies for the first time, we’ve detailed all the “Harry Potter” streaming options below.

How to watch every ‘Harry Potter’ movie

The “Harry Potter” movies are now available to stream through any service with access to the SyFy channel’s on-demand catalog. That said, the films tend to jump from networks like SyFy to platforms like Peacock and HBO Max on a regular basis. As such, it’s not clear how long you’ll be able watch the movies on SyFy.

Live TV streaming services with access to SyFy include Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, Fubo TV, and YouTube TV.

The cheapest of the bunch is Sling TV’s Sling Blue plan at $35 a month. The live TV streaming service offers a total of 44 channels. On-demand titles from select networks are available as well, including the “Harry Potter” movies via SyFy’s on-demand selection.

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Hulu + Live TV, Fubo TV, and YouTube TV also offer the “Harry Potter” movies via SyFy’s on-demand library, but they’re more expensive than Sling TV. Plans for each service start at $65 a month, though they all offer more live channels than Sling.

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Are the ‘Harry Potter’ movies on Peacock or HBO Max?

The “Harry Potter” films have previously been available on services like HBO Max and Peacock, but the movies are not currently streaming on either of those platforms.

Due to existing streaming deals, Vulture suggests that the “Harry Potter” movies may alternate between Peacock and HBO Max regularly through 2025. As of April 2021, it’s unclear when the movies will be back on either service.

How to rent ‘Harry Potter’ movies

In addition to live TV streaming services, fans can also rent or buy every “Harry Potter” film on a per-movie-basis through digital rental services. Some of these services include Amazon, RedBox, FandangoNow, Vudu, Google Play, and iTunes.

Pricing for the series varies by service, but most of the movies start at $4 to rent or $15 to buy.

For those unfamiliar with digital rental services, check out our guide on how to rent movies online.

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How to watch ‘Made for Love,’ the new HBO Max sci-fi series

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MadeForLoveHBOMax
  • The first six episodes of “Made for Love” are now streaming exclusively on HBO Max.
  • The sci-fi dramedy stars Cristin Milioti as a woman on the run from her controlling husband.
  • An HBO Max subscription costs $15 a month.

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HBO Max’s newest original series, “Made for Love,” debuted on April 1. The series’ first six episodes are now available, and two more will premiere on April 15. To watch the show, you’ll need an HBO Max subscription for $15 a month.

The sci-fi dramedy is based on the novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting. “Made for Love” follows Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti) as she attempts to escape her controlling husband, tech giant Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen). Her plan is complicated when she discovers that Gogol has put a high-tech monitoring chip inside her.

“Made for Love” received positive reviews from critics, and the show currently holds a “95% Fresh” rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s how to watch the first six episodes on HBO Max right now.

How to watch ‘Made for Love’

The first six episodes of “Made for Love” are now available to watch on HBO Max. The show’s first season will wrap up with two more episodes on April 15.

“Made for Love” is exclusive to HBO Max so you’ll need an HBO Max subscription to tune in. HBO Max costs $15 a month. The service doesn’t offer a free trial through its website, but new members can get a one-week trial if they sign up for HBO Max as an add-on to Hulu.

The HBO Max app is available on most media players, mobile devices, and smart TV brands, with the exception of LG TV models. You can see a full list of supported devices here.

For more information on HBO Max, check out our HBO Max guide.

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What else can I watch on HBO Max?

In addition to “Made for Love,” HBO Max features a huge catalog of movies and shows.

The service is streaming brand-new Warner Bros. movies on the same day they debut in theaters. “Godzilla vs. Kong” is the latest film to premiere and it’s available to stream through April 30. Other upcoming titles include “Mortal Kombat,” “The Suicide Squad,” “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” and more.

HBO Max is also home to a number of original shows, including “Raised by Wolves,” as well as HBO classics such as “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” and “Game of Thrones.”

Is HBO Max worth it?

At $15 a month, HBO Max is a bit expensive compared to some other streaming services, but it offers a lot of value if you like to watch HBO originals and brand-new movies at home. The option to stream upcoming Warner releases, like “The Suicide Squad” and “The Matrix 4,” while they’re still playing in theaters could be worth the subscription price alone.

For detailed impressions, check out our full HBO Max review. And be sure to read our guide to the best streaming services for more recommendations.

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How to watch ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ – the Oscar nominee is now available to rent though VOD streaming services

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judas and the black messiah

  • “Judas and the Black Messiah” premiered in theaters and on HBO Max on February 12.
  • The biopic stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chicago Black Panther Party chair Fred Hampton.
  • The film is now available to rent from VOD streaming services, like Prime Video and Vudu, for $20.

the Black Messiah (small)

“Judas and the Black Messiah,” a film based on the 1969 killing of Chicago Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton, has been nominated for six Academy Awards. The movie is now available to rent through services like Prime Video for $20.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” premiered on February 12 in theaters and on HBO Max, but its availability on HBO’s streaming service was only temporary. The movie was removed from HBO Max on March 14, but it could be added back at a later date.

The film chronicles the events leading to the joint FBI and police raid that saw more than 80 shots fired into Fred Hampton’s apartment as he slept. “Get Out” and “Queen & Slim” star Daniel Kaluuya plays Hampton in the film, while Lakeith Stanfield plays the FBI informant tasked with spying on Hampton and the Black Panthers.

For many Black activists, Hampton’s killing exemplified violent methods that racists and the government would use to suppress their movement, sowing years of distrust for Chicago police and federal law enforcement.

Years after Hampton’s death, it was revealed that the FBI had identified Hampton as a radical and launched a campaign to undermine his activism. They planted an informant named William O’Neal within the Black Panther Party to track Hampton’s actions and spread misinformation about Hampton to other Black activist groups in Chicago.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” has garnered critical acclaim from reviewers. The movie currently holds a “96% Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 85/100 on Metacritic.

How to watch ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

“Judas and the Black Messiah” is now available to rent through video-on-demand platforms. The movie premiered on HBO Max on February 12 and remained on the service through March 14. Though it’s no longer available on HBO Max, the film could be added back in the future.

To watch “Judas and the Black Messiah” at home you can rent it through services like Vudu, FandangoNow, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Google Play. Rentals start at $20 but may vary based on your platform of choice.

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Most rental services give you a 30-day period to start watching a movie after you order it. Once you begin playback, you typically get 48 hours before the rental expires. “Judas and the Black Messiah” is available in 4K with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos via supported services on compatible devices.

If you want to own a physical copy of the movie, the Blu-ray disc is scheduled for release on May 4.

What other Warner Bros. movies are coming to HBO Max?

The latest Warner Bros. movie on HBO Max is the monster mash-up of “Godzilla vs. Kong.” Other upcoming releases include “Mortal Kombat,” “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” and “Matrix 4.”

Here’s a complete list of every upcoming Warner Bros. movie with same-day releases on both HBO Max and in movie theaters.

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‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ was a hit at the box office and on HBO Max, and it shows why the post-pandemic terms between studios and theaters are far from settled

godzilla vs kong warner bros
“Godzilla vs. Kong”

  • Experts say “Godzilla vs. Kong’s” pandemic-best opening shows promise for theaters, but urge caution.
  • The movie was also a hit on HBO Max, but WB plans to abandon day-and-date releases after this year.
  • Still, a studio exec said WB is in talks with exhibitors to shorten the theatrical window.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After more than a year, the US theatrical industry finally had some good news.

“Godzilla vs. Kong,” the new monster battle royale from Warner Bros. and Legendary’s “MonsterVerse,” earned $48.5 million at the domestic box office in its first five days, and $32.2 million over the three-day Easter weekend – a pandemic-best opening. It’s so far made more than $285 million worldwide (it cost $200 million to produce).

It’s more impressive considering the movie, like all of Warner Bros.’ movies this year, also debuted on WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max on the same day it arrived in theaters.

Does that suggest that moviegoers will still see films in cinemas whether they’re streaming or not?

“Many audiences actively seek out the big screen, big sound, and shared experience [of movie theaters],” Jeff Goldstein, the Warner Bros. president of domestic theatrical distribution, told Insider. “With the right properties, theatrical exhibition can significantly ignite a cultural moment and increases the entire value chain.”

But while the numbers signal some hope for movie theaters that have been rocked by pandemic-related closures, experts caution that the industry isn’t out of the woods just yet.

“It’s difficult to determine anything concretely from just one film, especially after the year we’ve had,” said Jeff Bock, the Exhibitor Relations senior media analyst.

He added that theaters “just have to keep providing a safe and compelling environment for audiences, as ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ certainly shows folks are ready to return for the right film.”

“While the film experienced a huge increase in box-office performance relative to ‘Wonder Woman 1984,’ we are still well below how films had performed pre-pandemic and concerns remain that a meaningful portion of moviegoers now prefer streaming at home,” said Joe McCormack, an analyst with the research firm Third Bridge.

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the largest movie-theater trade group, cautioned that while theaters in the US are heading in the right direction, markets in Canada, Europe, and Latin America are still struggling.

“We are a national and a global industry, and we need many of those markets to recover to ensure the biggest box-office potential for global hits,” a NATO spokesperson told Insider in a statement.

While theaters still have a long road to recovery, the movie does suggest that theatrical and streaming distribution strategies can coexist.

godzilla vs kong
“Godzilla vs. Kong”

Theatrical windows may never be the same

“Godzilla vs. Kong” wasn’t just a box-office hit. HBO Max said that the movie had the largest audience in its first four days of any title since the service launched last May.

In response to “Godzilla vs. Kong’s” performance, some analysts praised WarnerMedia’s day-and-date release strategy, which received backlash from Hollywood after it was announced in December.

Lightshed Partners’ Rich Greenfield noted on Twitter that Max was the No. 1 app in the Apple app store on Sunday and said “the future is day and date releases.” B. Riley Securities analyst Eric Wold upgraded his stance on shares of AMC Theatres, the world’s largest theater chain, from “neutral” to “buy.”

Warner Bros.’ strategy reflects a big shift in film distribution amid the pandemic.

But NATO, the theater trade group, isn’t convinced it will have lasting consequences.

“Exhibitors are, of course, concerned about meaningful changes to release models, including the length of the exclusive theatrical window,” the NATO spokesperson said. “It is important to understand that pandemic release models, driven in part by the studios’ need for revenue right now, may bear little resemblance to what comes after, when the theatrical market can operate at full capacity. A large piece of the studio movie output simply does not make sense – or profit – without a robust theatrical performance.”

Still, there are already signs that the traditional theatrical window, typically 75 to 90 days before the pandemic, could be a thing of the past. Warner Bros. isn’t the only movie studio to embrace streaming during the pandemic and it could have lasting ramifications for movie theaters.

Major studios like Warner Bros., Universal, and Paramount have struck deals with exhibitors to dramatically shorten the window beyond 2021. That doesn’t mean day-and-date releases like what Warner Bros. is doing now, but it does mean movies could wind up on streaming or digital-rental platforms earlier than ever before.

Warner Bros., for instance, struck a deal with Cineworld (which owns Regal Cinemas) to shrink the window to 45 days beginning in 2022. Goldstein, the studio’s head of domestic theatrical distribution, told Insider that Warner Bros. is in talks with other exhibitors for similar deals.

He suggested that the day-and-date model is for 2021 only, which Warner Bros. had previously stressed.

“Our day-and-date strategy was right for us given the hobbled marketplace at this point in time,” Goldstein said. “Our plan for 2022 makes sense for that period of time.”

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