Warner Bros. and HBO are going to create mid-budget streaming films through a new film label. But why should we care?
In a press release this week, Warner Bros. and HBO announced they were creating a new production house called Warner Max. This will serve as the film label and production arm of the new Warner Bros./HBO streaming service, HBO Max, which launches this May.
Overseeing the slate will be HBO Max’s Kevin Reilly and Warner Bros. Pictures' chair Toby Emmerich. The studio heads say they're aiming for 8 to 10 movies per year.
WarnerMedia's extensive library already includes New Line, DC Films, the Turner television networks, Cartoon Network, and more, which they hope will give them leverage on the streaming side.
Warner Bros. and New Line will continue to create theatrical releases, while Warner Max will create a new platform for filmmakers perhaps seeking to make riskier films or reach niche audiences through streaming. Warner Max films will be able to take advantage of Warner Bros.' resources, including physical production.
What Does This Mean for Filmmakers?
This is yet another shift in the streaming landscape as companies try to figure out how to get their projects to audiences, while also trying to lure subscribers to different services. The marketplace is getting a little crowded with Disney+, AppleTV+, Hulu, NBC's Peacock, CBS All Access, and Quibi on the scene.
But as always, new platforms mean new opportunities and a chance for unique projects that would never see a theatrical release in today's market to get made. And who wouldn't want to work with some of the amazing resources at one of Hollywood's most legendary studios?
Either way, it's something filmmakers should keep an eye on, as the marketplace continually evolves.
When Can We Expect Warner Max Films?
Warner Max movies will start premiering on the service sometime in 2020. Warner Bros. will distribute these titles in all other media and territories beyond the HBO Max SVOD window.
Emmerich said in the release: “Working with Kevin [Reilly], Sarah [Aubrey], Jessie [Henderson], and their teams, we’re committed to creating dynamic and compelling films that draw on the depth and scope of the creative resources across WarnerMedia. We’re excited to help make HBO Max a destination for both film-lovers and the creative community, while delivering a win across the entire WarnerMedia organization.”
HBO Max will cost $14.99 per month. Existing subscribers of HBO Now will get free access to HBO Max.
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