Warner Bros. Picture Group today announced an unprecedented hybrid distribution model for the movies it is intending to put out in 2021, and that includes the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot film. Rather than simply release in theaters or on the HBO Max streaming service that the larger parent company also owns, it will release for both with a one-month streaming access period on HBO Max. This follows reports that Warner Bros. had been considering sending the video game movie adaptation to the streaming service.
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, as part of the announcement. “No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021. With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.”
I got you something ✨nice✨ this year:
🎁 The biggest movie premieres
🎁 In theaters and on HBO Max the exact same day
🎁 Beginning December 25 with #WonderWoman1984#HBOMax #WBPictures https://t.co/BZgFFRrrg2 pic.twitter.com/J2KBdWd9Tf
— HBO Max (@hbomax) December 3, 2020
“After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months,” said Jason Kilar, CEO, WarnerMedia, as part of the same announcement. “More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”
The Mortal Kombat reboot film is currently scheduled to release on January 15th on both HBO Max and in theaters. The cast includes Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Mehcad Brooks as Jax, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, and Lewis Tan in an unnamed role, which some speculate to be Johnny Cage. It wrapped filming late last year. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the film right here.
What do you think about Mortal Kombat coming to streaming at the same time as theaters? Are you looking forward to the release? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!