Looking ahead to 2021: the fate of movie theaters and HBO Max’s streaming plan

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As more people get vaccinated, how soon will crowds head back to movie theaters? That’s the big question Hollywood will be attempting to determine in early 2021. For now, MGM is holding to its April release date for the next James Bond movie, which was originally supposed to open in 2020. There’s some thought it could get pushed if people are still waiting for vaccines. 

Matt Belloni predicts the first huge movie back will be Marvel’s “Black Widow” in early May or Universal’s next “Fast and Furious” film over Memorial Day weekend. 

There’s also the question of WarnerMedia’s big streaming plan, and if the company will continue to drop movies on HBO Max the same day they open in theaters for the entirety of 2021. A lot may depend on how well those movies do in the first half of the year. If the films aren’t a boon to the box office, there’s a chance WarnerMedia could reverse course for the rest of the year. The company may also be facing litigation from the guilds or some of the other production companies that co-financed Warner Bros. movies.




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker